The Lost Words

Amalgama is thrilled to be working with acclaimed British author Robert Macfarlane on a project pairing texts from his newly published collection, The Lost Words, with new compositions by ten composers. With this project we intend to create a space for children to engage with the issue of environmental crisis with creativity and hopefulness.

 
 “The Lost Words,” by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris (Hamish Hamilton Ltd)

“The Lost Words,” by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris (Hamish Hamilton Ltd)

The Lost Words is a “spell book” aimed at conjuring words back into the mouths and minds-eyes of children (and adults!), and conjuring animals and plants back into the landscapes from which they are slipping. The book is made up of acrostic poems (or “spells”) that are coupled with beautiful illustrations by Jackie Morris. The spells are written to be read aloud and, in the vein of the greatest children’s literature, the expression is wonderfully clear yet sophisticated and intelligent. In a simple, joyful, yet profound way, The Lost Words addresses the issue of the growing disconnect between people and the natural world, seeking a creative solution to the mental health issues and environmental destruction that stem from this phenomenon. 

Learn more about the book.

 

Ten talented composers will be working on The Lost Words: Reiko Füting, Fjola Evans, Eli Greenhoe, Luis-Fernando Amaya, Taylor Brook, Ashkan Behzadi, Barry Sharp, Maria Kaoutzani, Tanner Porter, and Salina Fisher. Each of them has chosen a ‘spell’ to respond to in the form of a short piece of instrumental music.

 

 Otters from The Lost Words. Photograph: Jackie Morris.

Otters from The Lost Words. Photograph: Jackie Morris.

 Adder from The Lost Words. Photograph: Jackie Morris.

Adder from The Lost Words. Photograph: Jackie Morris.

 

Amalgama will perform these compositions in concert throughout the 2018-2019 season, and is working with the Berkeley-Carroll School to create a series of performance and composition workshops centered around the project.

If you would like Amalgama to create a custom workshop based on The Lost Words for your school, please contact us!

The Lost Words written by Robert MacFarlane and Illustrated by Jackie Morris. Text © Robert MacFarlane 2017 (Hamish Hamilton). Illustrations © Jackie Morris 2017 (Hamish Hamilton)