Organised by Emily Oldfield of HAUNT (brought to you by The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, The Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage and the Encountering Corpses project, all at Manchester Metropolitan University) and Dr Julian Holloway, this special showcase Rural Eerie: Explored Through Sounds and Words is another event in this year’s Gothic Manchester Festival VII: Gothic Times programme, running until 1 November.
Beyond the supposed rural idyll malevolent forces work, uncanny sensations prowl and the eerie is always lurking. Rural Eerie seeks to explore this countryside…
The official write-up says it all beautifully, so over to them for this bit: “The countryside: a place of tranquillity, less compromised by modern life, harmonious communities, innocence and safety. This much is the rural idyll. Yet the rural is also the unknown rustling in the hedgerow as the country lane is travelled at night. It’s the half-seen shapes and shadows in the woodland and copse; the desolate hill side, the treacherous rocky crag, the lone leafless tree atop the knoll. It’s the place where supposed closely-knit social ties become like suffocating and impenetrable knotweed to the outsider, the incomer, the blow-in. It’s those rural places and spaces that host their own ghosts of occluded pasts and forgotten, unfamiliar practices. Beyond the supposed rural idyll malevolent forces work, uncanny sensations prowl and the eerie is always lurking. Rural Eerie seeks to explore this countryside through music, sound, spoken word, poetry and visuals. It hopes to bring to the surface different ruralities – real, half-remembered, imagined – and makes us think again about the countryside.”
Manchester experimental and electronic outfit Flange Circus will be soundtracking the evening, providing soundscapes for readings from writers and poets including Helen Darby, Sarah Hymas, Emily Oldfield, Mark Pajak, Richard Skelton and Andrew Michael Hurley; the latter recently seen discussing Folklore, Myth & Rural Communities at Rewriting The North (back on 31 October at The Portico Library, this time with Anita Sethi and Paul Evans).
A true proponent of the Northern Gothic style, Andrew won the Costa First Novel Award 2015 for his debut The Loney, which Stephen King called ‘an amazing piece of fiction’, his second novel, Devil’s Day, is about to be followed by a third, Starve Acre, due to be published this Halloween. He’ll be popping up again on 24 October for an evening of folk horror with Water Shall Refuse Them author Lucie McKnight Hardy at Blackwell’s. More here.