Richard King - The Lark Ascending

The Music of the British Landscape

with Richard King

Join us to explore a history of Britain's landscape and the music that it inspires. Through a series of ‘headphone walks’ and reflective interviews with musicians, filmmakers, ruralists and witnesses. Richard explores Britain’s rural landscapes and the compositions inspired by their beauty and drama. His journey takes us from Vaughan Williams and the landscape his generation encountered as they returned after the armistice, through the decades to the New Age Travellers of the 1980s congregating every year at Stonehenge.

His unique and intimate history of a nation celebrates the British countryside as a living, working, and occasionally rancorous environment - rather than an unaffected idyll - that forged a nation’s musical personality and provided a space in which life could be experienced on its own terms and its fullest, under open skies, far away from the gaze of authority.


  • This is a book to set you thinking and maybe don the headphones and the Gore-Tex, and stride out, modish and unashamed.

    Stuart Maconie

    Mail on Sunday

  • A valuably original book. I liked the bursts of vivid passion, the cameo sketches of "post-psychedelic crofters", the heartfelt account of travellers...

    Alexandra Harris


About the author

Richard King is one of our most celebrated cultural historians. Born in Newport, Richard has worked at the heart of the independent music industry for nearly twenty years and was the co-editor of Loops, as well as writing for the Guardian and Observer. He is the author of Original Rockers, which was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize, and How Soon Is Now?, both published by Faber.