the heartwood institute

Preserved somewhere amid the pages of a dustily faded photograph album, the vaguely displaced bittersweet recall of memories of lost yesterday’s stir ominously to life, each page and each picture a story. these lonesome apparitions populate the empty spaces, the parks, the streets and the housing estates, where once there was life, chatter and play, a shadow has long since descended. Abandoned and forgotten, the sound of the Heartwood Institute serves as a receiver translating these idealist voices lost to modernism, capatilism and foolhardy endeavour. As much to do with the beauty of detachment and isolationism as the sorrow of lost hope and progress, ‘burgh marsh’ trips to a sonic palette located dead centre between the respected sound houses of ghost box (‘prior lancy’ in particular tuned to the pastoral electronic frequencies of Belbury Park) and the polytechnic youth. Utilising vintage keys and armed with a nostalgic awareness (best evidenced on the woodcrafted and willowy vintage of the pirouetting orbital ‘greymare hill’ which comes possessed of the kind of Brontean sprays that used to adore the musical mosaics of fort dax), Mr Sharp nee the Heartwood Institute, provides a score for a moment lost, within here a mastery for tone, atmosphere and mood is encapsulated across a nine track suite, a postcard from yesteryear and another time long since lost. ‘burgh marsh’ is for want of a better description, a musical incident report that relates to a press account that has since divided opinion between UFOlogists and theory debunkers whilst simultaneously to this day retaining its mystery despite various expert tests as to its validity. The story centres around one Jim Templeton, a  fire fighter, on a day out with his family in 1964 , he took three photographs of his daughter, only when the film was developed did he discover on one shot, what looked like a spaceman standing to the rear of his daughter. The publicity reached Australia whereupon reports where made of two giant spaceman having been seen on the firing range of a test site where the Blue  Streak was to be put through its paces. The test was cancelled and later upon seeing Templeton’s picture those that witnessed the incident said the ‘spaceman’ was indeed exactly the same mysterious figure they had observed. More information of the incident that was to become known as the ‘Solway Firth Spaceman’ can be gleaned here – – as to the soundtrack / suite ‘Burgh Marsh’, Mr Sharp deftly blends this cocktail of elements – the mystery, the macabre and the mellow – into a wonderfully dream like odyssey, reference wise the likes of Pye Corner Audio (see ‘Burgh Marsh’), Tomorrow Syndicate (the shimmertoning ‘’displacement.0’) and Concretism all appear, disappear and dissolve into the Bucolic hedgerows. Between the lunar garlands peppered by ghostly conversations on the serenely rustic apparition ‘May 23rd, 1964’ and the crystal set kosmische pulsars of the futuristic ghost wave ‘blue streak’ sits Sharp’s trademark ear for the heraldic pastoral majesty of the green belt and all its rich spacious finery here brought to vivid colour on ‘rushy knowe’.

The Heartwood Institute are set to perform at a prestigious invitation at the very august setting of the Wordsworth House in Cockermouth this coming Saturday 1st July. For further details go to

As to the album…….set your radar for …

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