This is a totally insane reissue even by Trunk Records' standards. Originally produced and released in limited quantities by the BBC in 1968, this sometimes eerie sounding album - think the BBC Radiophonic Workshop meets the Wicker Man - was made for BBC Radio Drama Workshop for Schools. I can only assume that some of the children were left deeply disturbed after listening to it.
The music sounds like something from the Middle Ages re-created with trademark Radiophonic Worksop bleeps and blops as the narrator, Derek Bowskill, reads the poetry of Ronald Duncan. It's inspired stuff and a difficult listen at first but it has an almost hypnotic effect. Consisting of 17 tracks - one for each month, season and 'The Year' - there's only a couple of musical themes, elaborated using different arrangements and sound effects. Sample poetry:
March - "The earth is sleeping, who will wake her? Let the rusty ploughshare take strength from her thighs."
July - "An empress with an endless train walks the broad valley. She holds no scepter, wears no crown."
Clocking in at 44 minutes and housed in a standard jewel case, it features extensive liner notes, including an interview with the Radiophonic Workshop's David Cain and it's been re-mastered from the master tapes. Peculiar, spooky and totally unique - don't have nightmares...