• John Harle
  • Royal Ring Road (2002)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by The King's Singers and the BBC

  • 6 male voices
  • 6 male voices
  • 7 min
  • John Harle
  • Iain Sinclair

Programme Note

Iain Sinclair and I appeared together in a television programme about Nicholas Hawksmoor's Christchurch in Spitalfields and on hearing the work that I'd written to commemorate the building (Terror and Magnificence) Iain and Chris Petit latched onto the piece and used it as the score to their movie 'Maggid Street'. The Oriana Collection seemed a golden opportunity to revisit our joint philosophies about the importance of place, and the intangible mysteries concealed within natural landscapes, so often ignored by planners and developers. The M25 like the outer ring of a tree trunk forms either a useful link road or a noose depending on ones point of view. Iain's words at once both caustic and irreverent represent his personal view of these arguments. Verses 1, 3, 5 and 6 having its roots in the loss of the English landscape whilst Verses 2 and 4 sound with the hard edge rant of a political form of hip-hop. "The revolution will not be televised" (Gil Scott Heron).

© 2002 John Harle