The Mountains that Inspired 'Lescun'


Around you lies the gentle valley, green meadows and the soft sound of cattle bells. Above, huge grey ridges loom through gaps in the dappled trees, majestic and terrifying in their enormity.

Lescun was inspired by a moment I had while on a walk in the Pyrenees around a place called the ‘Cirque du Lescun’ - it’s this enormous ridge of grey limestone mountains that looms over a stunningly beautiful valley. It wasn’t just the sights that struck me – the valley, and indeed most places we walked in the Pyrenees, echoed with the the sounds of cattle bells. They were so gentle and omnipresent that you forget that they aren’t part of the natural soundscape.


My family and I were hiking there in the summer of 2016 and halfway up the mountain I looked up at the threatening peaks and then down at the soft fields and foliage around me and I thought, this is a moment that deserves to be rendered and preserved. My father, a keen photographer, achieved this with his camera, but I did it with sound, using recordings of cattle bells and also some field recordings (alas, not from the Cirque du Lescun as I forgot to bring my microphone, but from the slightly closer and more accessible Mam Tor in the Peak District).


Lescun has been performed at the ICMC and MANTIS, and will b performed later this year at Ecos Urbanos.