On Richard Skelton

Richard Skelton haunts me.

Sometimes I will be in the shower and I will just be doing the shower thing and a surge of string will come to my mind. I’ll hum for a little while. Or I will be walking to the train station, and silence and the clip clop of my shoes and birds will do their bird noises and I will thing about an underlay of violins. So when I say that Richard Skelton haunts me, I mean that his music, his composition, has somehow colonized my brain to such an extent that I will insert him into my life without fully realizing what I am doing.

Richard Skelton is living in my brain.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Lets go back for a second. Listen to this track. Turn it up all the way. Sit back, close your eyes, and just fucking chill out for a second. You can overdose on information in five minutes.

So maybe now you get it. Long sequences. Chains of sound that never really stop, never make themselves discrete. Surges of wind and water. The dissolution of the space between you and the world.

It isn’t just the music that draws me to Skelton, though I admit that if I knew nothing about him other than his albums, I would still love it all. In 2004, Skelton’s partner died. He made music. He made a lot of music. He seems to have channeled all of that loss into desperate sounds.

Richard Skelton writes the soundtrack to half-sleep movements, eyes closed, a bedfellow touching absently. The soundtrack of water mediating a touch. The soundtrack of blood and breath.

EDIT: check out this quote from this interview

For me, forging a connection with landscape through music has been a way of feeling part of something larger than myself, of anchoring myself during a time of great personal upheaval. The landscape itself has answered many of my questions and asked a good many more in return. The redemption it offers isn’t easy. It means the loss of the self, a surrender of those very things that we hold dear. Love. Familial ties. Memories. It can be a form of release and a kind of horror. But paradoxically, the landscape also remembers. It enshrines the smallest and the most seemingly inconsequential in layers of soil. A leaf. A bird skull. A seed.


So look here to buy his things. Read his poetry. Listen to the songs. 

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