Supersonic Commission: The Memory Band


Supersonic Festival are delighted to be partnering with the British Library Sound Archive to create a new commission as part of the Capsule Labs, an artist development and commissioning scheme devised to create more opportunities for commissioning experimental, cross-disciplinary art.

Stephen Cracknell, founder of The Memory Band, has worked with selected material from the Library’s archive to create a new work, Children of the Stones  is intended as a sonic adventure into the strange heart of our haunted landscape. . Mixing archival recordings, natural and industrial sounds, traditional melodies and original field recordings alongside a new acoustic score, the performance will celebrate the strange, mysterious and playful relationship we have developed with the ancient and magical landscape we inhabit. The title is taken from Jeremy Burnham and Trevor Ray’s classic children’s television series set among the standing stones of Avebury. Since the time of antiquarians John Aubrey and William Stukeley the recording and surveyance of our prehistoric landscape and monuments has had a profound effect upon the modern British mind. In poetry, art and song this landscape has been a canvas onto which we have projected the very essence of how we see ourselves and the ghosts of those who came before us. From William Blake’s visionary Jerusalem to films such as David Rudkin’s Penda’s Fen it has been the backdrop to an exploration of the inherent spirituality of our Island and through the now well-documented folk-horror genre we have used that landscape to explore what lurks in the shadows of our collective identity. We are all children of the stones

Since 2003 The Memory Band has been mapping the mutant edgelands of British Folk music, where digital machinery and acoustic music combine to make traditional music from the future.

To accompany the commission there will be a ltd edition seven inch record on sale containing audio from the performance. These will be hand cut (by Phil Macy) in an edition of 100 with a hand finished sleeve (designed by Ben Javens) on 500 micron charcoal card (in homage to the Folkways Library Sleeves) via Static Caravan Records.

The British Library is home to the nation’s sound archive, an extraordinary collection of over 6.5 million recordings of speech, music, wildlife and the environment, from the 1880s to the present day. It has recently launched the Save our Sounds programme which is a major digitisation project to preserve the nation’s sound heritage – read more here: