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  • Matthew Shenton

Listening to the Landscape 12

This is the first of my village recordings to have taken place inside a building; that of All Saints Church. The church sits in the heart of the village and is open to the public all week round. Drone footage of the building’s exterior has been captured by local videographer Luke Macaulay (his YouTube channel features amazing drone footage of many wonderful locations around the Shotley Peninsula).

I wanted to capture the ambiance of the building and to see if any sounds of the building creaking etc. could be heard. Despite trying on two occasions any interior sounds were largely absent. Instead, the thick walls filter out most of the the village soundscape, with the noise of a lawnmower, planes and passing cars being some of the only discernible sounds. This is in stark contrast to the bubbling atmosphere of services (especially the Christmas crib service). As the only visitor during that particular time of day, it was an immensely peaceful time.

My recording equipment was positioned before the substantial memorial to Judge John Clench (c. 1535 - 1607). Clench owned land in and around Holbrook and was an English judge, a Serjeant-at-Law, Baron of the Exchequer and Justice of the Queen's Bench during the late Tudor period. Clench was present at the hearing of Margaret Clitherow of York who was accused of harbouring Catholic priests but refused to plea. She was subsequently pressed to death by a sharp rock being placed under her back, her own front door placed over her body and a huge weight of rocks and stones piled on top. It is said that it took her 15 minutes to die and her body was left like this for six hours. She was pregnant with her fourth child at the time.

I would like to extend by gratitude to the Reverend Jenny Seggar for allowing me to record on church property.

[This field recording was recorded to showcase the natural sounds heard in a rural setting. It features no human voices. No monies will be made from the recording. Please contact me  if you have any concerns]


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