“An imaginary journey into a real place…”

There’s an author, Patrick Harpur, who has written a history of the Imagination called The Philosopher’s Secret Fire. I thought of him as I reflected on Malcolm Green and Josh Green’s set on Friday night. Entering their word- and song-scape was to begin to inhabit a whole imaginary ecosystem – or perhaps to understand how exercising the Imagination is ultimately a physical, natural experience.

There were crystal-solid stories, sure, told from start to finish – a woman in a birch tree; a hut out-of-time on a fogbound moor; a lonely old man in Knightsbridge – but there were fragments of story too, of Odin, Pan, Orpheus, and of the wisdom of trees, birds, butterflies. They pointed to paths we might
have followed, but didn’t; they were foliage of imagery, fallen to the ground, that in turn feeds new tales. Supporting everything on Friday, like the World Tree Yggdrasil, was the story of Earth as we understand it from science. At one point, the sheer effusion of it all left Malcolm speechless.

Under, around, sometimes ahead of the words, was Josh’s music. It danced between something aboriginal and pastoral, thrusting into mechanical acceleration when Malcolm delineated the alienation of modern hyper-rational life. But it went deep, this music: deep and kind.

It was all deep and kind, the whole evening; rich, wise, and awestruck. Thank you so much, Malcolm and Josh.

Steve Lancaster