Ryan Probert – The Fields Where Silence Has Lease (2017)

Commissioned by the BBC and premiered in Leicester Cathedral on Saturday 4th March 2017 as the final of #Leicester50 StoryFest ‘Towards Stillness’.

Programme Note:

‘It’s the forests where silence has lease’ is one of the final lines from Robert Service’s poem The Spell of the Yukon. I have always interpreted this ‘silence’ being the absence of humanity – even today, the Yukon has the smallest population of any territory of Canada. The dense woodlands lack the noise of humanity, but they are rich with nature. Where there once were woodlands though, humanity replaced them with fields: places perhaps more silent than the woods that came before. When I learned my piece would be premiered at Leicester Cathedral, my thoughts turned to the fate of Richard III and the other men there that day. After he had fallen, silence returned to the fields once more.