The Peregrine

The Peregrine reissued and available for the first time on digital formats. Includes an exclusive bonus edition of an ambient reduction from the album when purchased through the Room40 Emporium.

From Lawrence English, January 2015

“I first discovered The Peregrine when I was visiting my friend David Toop in London. He had the book on his desk and I picked it up and randomly turned to a page. It was an exquisite description of an Owl silently hunting. I was struck by the detail and evocative sense of listening in the writing. It was, as though, I was there experiencing that moment through the author’s ears. I turned to another page and before I finished that paragraph I was sold. I ordered The Peregrine and was reading it days later.

Since that time I have spent a good deal of time with both that book and J.A Baker’s only other text The Hill Of Summer. I’ve bought in excess of 100 copies of The Peregrine, gifting them to fellow musicians and artists who visit and occasionally sending them to people who I felt might enjoy the book. Most infamously I suppose is my sending the book to Werner Herzog, who I was introduced to by my friend Douglas Quin. Herzog loved the book and now includes it as essential reading in his film school. 

For me, The Peregrine captures a very special turning point in the 20th century. It marks a recognition of the role humans play in shaping their environment. Without ever addressing the topic directly, Baker’s misanthropic, almost nihilistic reading of modern life pinpoints many issues that have come to a head in contemporary society. 

For a character we never learn anything about, Baker’s voyeur of the falcons, is a surprisingly engaging figure. As the reader we become him, we live through his textual renderings of time and place. Ultimately, through this ghost of a character, we become the bird in what Herzog so perfectly called a ‘quasi-religious transubstantiation’ – reader into author into bird.

This book changed my life. So much so that I felt it necessary to make a record about it and find some small way to respond to what is one of the finest literary outings of the 20th century. I hope you can find some space in which to experience both the book and this record. I am pleased to have it available widely on digital and LP formats.”


selected press:

Brainwashed: “…this is definitely a significant peak in his oeuvre and a resounding artistic success.” 
Dusted: “English’s story is one of an abstract dialogue, an on-going tale of the relationship between animals and their ecosystems, between the birds of the sky and the roots of trees buried deep in landscapes” 
Headphone Commute: “Multiple layers split the frequency spectrum, your own being, and the perceived reality as everything in sight is enveloped in sound.” 
Decoder: “The album sees English channeling his obsessive fascination with the particular bird and J.A. Baker’s novel of the same name with frostbitten, avian drones that soar and plummet from track to track. It’s a harrowing listen that’s well worth the reissue treatment.” 
Boomkat: “‘The Peregrine’ is Lawrence English’s homage to J.A. Baker’s obscure tome of the same title. Without a doubt, it’s also one of his most beautifully realised releases.”