Wetton Mill New Year’s Eve 1974-75 | Peter Riley

The valley at night, when the patches of white rock on the sides start floating in the frosty haze. Like floating verses. Like verses of songs which move from one story to another, and follow you around. Amazing grace in the freezing dark. And the songs say that death is a beautiful thing, like a floating stone, like limestone coated in frost and moonlight (rilievo schiaccito) or Orfeo’s fond despair in little repeated choruses, choirboys singing and dancing in the side-chapels of 15th Century cathedrals by candlelight, without audience. A music that moves straight back home from any point, always. Waiting to be linked into another music, that seeks to know, and will never relinquish the quest for enlightenment. The light has departed from everything except the stone.

From the pamphlet XIV PIECES (Longbarrow Press, April 2012).