The Cotswolds Conservation Board
Tune into nature – birdsong, breezes, buzzing bees – and traditional pursuits like cricket. Summer sounds around the Cotswolds soothe the soul! Words: Siân Ellis
listens to the sounds of summer
August begins with the final dramatic strains of Orfeo ed Euridice at Longborough Festival Opera (July 29-August 1) and culminates with the bonanza of music, food and drink that is The Big Feastival (August 25-27). Never let it be said the Cotswolds lacks musical diversity! Nor should we be surprised. The landscape has provided the setting and inspiration to many different musical talents past and present, from The Planets composer Gustav Holst to Peter Gabriel.
Cheltenham-born Holst loved walking and practised his trombone in the hills, predilections you might emulate – walking, at least – along the Gustav Holst Way from Cranham to Wyck Rissington where he had his first job as an organist, 1892–1893. Peter Gabriel, of course, made ‘Solsbury Hill’ his debut single after leaving rock band Genesis. “Climbing up on Solsbury Hill ... Wind was blowing, time stood still” continues to ring true when rambling there today.
More generally, the natural soundtrack of the Cotswolds countryside, of chuckling streams, wind through woods, birdsong or the reassuring murmur of farmland animals all provide therapeutic mood music to help us rediscover our inner harmony away from the 24/7 pressures of life. And then there’s the enticing glug of locally brewed ale into a glass on a sunny evening in a pub after a walk; or the traditional thwack and “howzat” of cricket. Why not get in tune and enjoy the refreshing tempo of some Cotswolds summer sounds?