sounding out the peak district.
up the Manifold Valley, overlooking the beautiful green stretches of the landscape, near the village of Wetton, you will find one of the few caves of the area worth looking at. or listening to. i have searched most holes marked on the OS maps that calls itself a cave… and finally, this one is bigger than a crack in the rock housing a dead sheep.
It is a splendid spot with a view on both sides of the hill and the acoustics are really nice. sounds carry throughout the nooks and crannies of the cave and change colour depending on the chamber you are in. this is not a massive cave but large enough to wander around. the main chamber is wide and open so it feels grand and yet not claustrophobic. the sound is well contained within the cavity but because the chamber opens on two sides, the acoustics are not so great on a windy day.
the energy here is special. the place has many visitors and tourists, so it is very understated. but there is an underlying wild and raw feeling here that awaits to awaken. playing in the cave when the area is quiet, and visiting at night has always been an experience. lose all preconceptions of aesthetic and styles, this is no place for posing and showing off catchy licks. just raw sound.
Thor’s cave – shaman’s dream
hervé perez, soprano saxophone, may 2009
for more recordings in the Sounding Out series, see my website.