Edition of 500
‘What line did the river first write in the valley?’ – (‘Landings’ Richard Skelton)
Limnology takes the above quote as its starting point and explores the notion of this 'line' as both a series of words and a sequence of musical notes.
The book assembles over 1000 'water-words' from the dialect of Cumbria and its tributaries in the Germanic and Celtic languages, presenting them in a way which typographically imitates riverine processes.
Letters cascade down the page, overlap, merge and gather, forming pools and streams. Intermingled with these visual pieces are poems and texts which explore, among other things, water creation myths, the roles of water creatures, both real and imagined, and the paradox of waterless rivers.
The accompanying musical composition recreates the journey of a river from mountain rill to estuary, through the gradual accumulation of individual melody lines, swelling from near silence to almost violent intensity, shimmering with agitated strings and percussion, before ebbing away into nothing.