Music of history

Composer Michael Price has turned historic places into recording studios for his inspiration.

The Emmy award winning musician has used National Trust venues varying from the tunnels beneath the White Cliffs of Dover to an 18thcentury mill to create his new album, Tender Symmetry, which will be released bye Erased Tapes on August 31.

"For Tender Symmetry, I stopped admiring and started participating in these buildings” said Price, who won an Emmy in 2014 for his soundtrack for the BBC’s Sherlock  series. “This began as an exploration of writing and recording out in the world beyond the studio. I am interested in where we build our homes in an increasingly virtual world and the spirit of place we feel as we walk our local streets, our schools, temples and public spaces. Taking inspiration from a place, and the stories it told, then going back to that place to record, sometimes in less than ideal conditions, made the two-year adventure much more like shooting a film than making a record.”

Main image, Michael Price at Sandham, above, at the Fan Bay Tunnels, Dover both by Alex Kozbolis

With musicians and collaborators, including soprano Grace Davidson, Price took his lead from the poetry of Williams Blake, visiting locations such as Quarry Bank in Cheshire, Fountains Abbey on Yorkshire, the modernist house 2 Willow Road in Hampstead and the site of Stanley Spencer’s most famous murals, Sandham Memorial Chapel in Wiltshire.

“We were delighted when Michael approached us with this project as it directly draws on the extraordinary stories and history of these special places” said the National Trust’s Grace Davies. “The sheer variety of sites that Michael has chosen has resulted in a collection of new music that is sometimes surprising, sometimes poignant, and – above all – inspirational. I am sure that audiences will be enchanted both by Michael’s music and our places that have inspired him.”

You can hear a track from the album, Shade of Dreams, here or at

Print Email