The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Ursula K Le Guin & Todd Barton Reissue Announced
Christian Eede , January 31st, 2018 15:36

A 1985 cassette release by the late Ursula K Le Guin, alongside Todd Barton, will see a first-time vinyl release by reissue label Freedom To Spend

Reissue label Freedom To Spend continues its strike rate into this year with the announcement of a first-time vinyl release of a 1985 cassette by Todd Barton and Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away last week.

Music And Poetry Of The Kesh is billed as the soundtrack to Le Guin's novel Always Coming Home, in which the story of Stone Telling, a young woman of the Kesh, is presented within a larger fantasy tale. You can hear 'A Teaching Poem' and 'Heron Dance' from the record via the embed above.

The ways of the Kesh were originally presented in 1985 as a 500-page book accompanied with illustrations of instruments and tools, maps, a glossary of terms, recipes, poems, an alphabet and, with early editions, a cassette of "field recordings" and indigenous song. The latter makes up the reissue on Freedom To Spend.

Plans for the reissue were set into motion before Le Guin's passing, with her endorsement as well as Barton's. "With the Le Guin family's encouragement to move forward with our planned release, we are humbled to play this small role in sharing Ursula’s work," the label says.

The words and lyrics on the record are attributed to Le Guin as composed by Barton, who is an Oregon-based composer and Buchla synthesist.

Music And Poetry Of The Kesh will be reissued in digital and vinyl formats on March 23. The LP will include a spot printed jacket with Ursula's illustrations from Always Coming Home, a recreation of the original lyric sheet and liner notes by writer Moe Bowstern, a close friend of Le Guin.