This is the website for the audio-essay "On Vanishing Land" by Justin Barton and Mark Fisher. The essay will be based on a walk that the authors took four years ago through a striking area of Suffolk coastland, starting at Felixstowe container terminal and ending at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge.

The work will explore connections between the ghost stories of MR James (many of which were inspired by this area of Suffolk), and Brian Eno’s On Land, whose unsettled ambience is an expression of this terrain into music: Eno grew up in Woodbridge, and track titles such as “Lantern Marsh” and “Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills)” reference nearby places.

Monday, 7 February 2011

    A long stretch of shore--shingle edged by sand, and intersected at short intervals with black groynes running down to the water--a scene, in fact, so like that of his afternoon's walk that, in the absence of any landmark, it could not be distinguished therefrom. The light was obscure, conveying an impression of gathering storm, late winter evening, and slight cold rain. On this bleak stage at first no actor was visible. When, in the distance, a bobbing black object appeared; a moment more, and it was a man running, jumping, clambering over the groynes, and every few seconds looking eagerly back. The nearer he came the more obvious it was that he was not only anxious, but even terribly frightened [...]

    M. R. James, "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad" (1904).

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