Sing as the Crow Flies


Debut vocal album by composer/performers Laura Cannell and Polly Wright. Re-voicing the voices of the lost, forgotten, and hidden people who have lived, worked and loved through the centuries, through the seasons, through the air and in the Marshlands. Sing as the Crow Flies is a set of nine vocal tracks re-voicing the rural landscape, surrounding reed beds and marshes on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Growing up on either side of the River Yare, with a common love of the area, Laura Cannell and Polly Wright are musicians, composers, and creators with deep roots in the marshes and traditions of this rural area. Frustrated by the lack of women's voices represented in the rural landscape writings of East Anglia and further afield, the duo decided to add their own voices and experiences of living and working in rural surroundings in the 21st century to the male dominated discourse of rural life in the past. The music is created through different means -- heterophonic improvisation, Hildegard von Bingen-inspired call-and-responses, and taking words from the 18th century tome Norfolk Garland, A Collection of the Superstitious Beliefs and Practices, Proverbs, Curious Customs, Ballads and Songs, of the People of Norfolk. Together with their own writings and wordless inventions, Sing as the Crow Flies was created as a site-specific sound installation for the 2019 Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, UK. The installation sits around the trunk of a 30-year-old walnut tree in a cherry orchard where five telephone handsets hang from the tree ready to be picked up by passers-by...

"There are voices at the end of this line. They are inside Raveningham Church just over 1000 metres as the crow flies from where you stand. Inside the stone walls of the 11th century church two women are moving, singing, separately and together. Every harmonic conversation is improvised, they are moving between the stone and wood, in light and shadow, calling and responding in and out of focus. Footsteps, birds and air can be heard. These new voices are part of the rural landscape, they are using their surroundings as inspiration along with their personal musical traditions & folklore. They are finding a common tongue, their native tongue of the marshlands, two people living, working and creating here in the 21st century. Tapping into vein-like branches, links and marshes. Private voices are woken, then laid again to rest."