Ancient trees inspire musical ‘walk’ by Portishead’s Adrian Utley

Ancient trees inspire musical ‘walk’ by Portishead’s Adrian Utley

A brand new piece of music by Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley, inspired by a walk at the National Trust’s CroftCastle in Herefordshire, is released today, as part of the charity’s Great British Walk.

A still from the Croft Castle video by John Minton

The Sonic Journey – commissioned by the National Trust and sounduk – follows a route through Croft Castle’s beautiful landscape which is dominated by ancient trees, including a thousand-year-old oak tree and an avenue of chestnut trees with links to the Spanish Armada.

The new track, which will be accompanied by a hand-drawn route map by Adrian Utley, will be available to download for free on to smartphones and MP3 players until 15 October 2013 via and and also on MP3 players at CroftCastle itself.

Portishead film-maker, John Minton, worked with Adrian to create a video based on the journey that will be available to watch via the above websites or

Walkers can then walk the route to experience the music, which runs for 15 minutes, while wandering through the special place that inspired this journey through the seasons. 

The music is released during the Trust’s Great British Walk which is celebrating our national love affair with walking, with thousands of events and downloadable walks from across the country.

Brian Muelaner, National Trust Ancient Tree Adviser, said: “Trees have inspired generations of artists and there is something remarkable about the power and beauty of ancient trees. 

“Walking is the prefect way to get outdoors and explore the exquisite British countryside, particularly at this time of year with trees in wonderful colours of autumn

“Adrian’s music really captures the spirit of this special place on a journey through this landscape dominated by ancient trees.”

The National Trust is part way through a three-year survey of all of its ancient trees including Newton’s apple tree, the Tolpuddle Martyrs tree and the yew tree at Runnymede where the Magna Carta was signed. 

Adrian Utley is widely known for his work in the hugely-influential band, Portishead. 

The band, which formed in 1990, has released three critically acclaimed albums including Dummy in 1994.  Adrian Utley has also worked with Patti Smith, Tom Jones and Jeff Beck.

The National Trust has previously worked on new music with Jarvis Cocker and the art pop trio Kotki Dwa.


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