the heartwood institute

eyed a little note on the reverb worship site giving advance warning of an imminent release by the heartwood institute and well, being the nosy blighters or rather more the curious souls we are, we decided to go on a ramble and unearthed this quaint treasure trove. The heartwood institute for the uninitiated – like me – is the aural alter ego of one Jonathan Sharp who from his secret sonic bunker crafts out lush sometimes haunting often beautiful sonic sketching oozed in vintage floral fantasia. ‘Astercote’ his most recent release is an imagined score to accompany a Penelope Lively penned novel of the same name published in 1970. A deeply engaging soundtrack delicately oozed in alluring floral folk flurries and the undulating romp of rustic revelries which under closer inspection reveal a sinister shadow land, for amid the innocence and carefree un-tethered tranquillity a sinister sub text plays out riddled it ritual, mystery and macabre for which while the pastoral posies such as ‘the old ways’ and ‘goacher’ allude to a sonically crafted kinship with fortdax it side steps at various turns into twilight worlds more commonly associated with the likes of the Advisory Circle, the unseen and the holy see as found on the brooding minimalist chiller ‘stolen’ and the  detached futurism of ‘the chase’ where reference markers such as Zombi and John Carpenter are called to mind while somewhere else classic brit horror folk admirers (see ‘the blood on satan’s claw’) may warm to the teasingly brief  ‘call down the hawk’.

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