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  • Writer's pictureMartyn

Megalithic Transport Network

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

"The 'MTN' or Megalithic Transport Network is part of a larger national rail system which links historical sites throughout Derbyshire and neighbouring counties, such as standing stones, circles and tors"

The MTN is an ongoing research and development project centered around a pusdo-historical railway and transport network, developed by the Government in late 1970s Britain - it is a means to explore our relationship with important ancient sites that have been present in our landscape for thousands of years, and redefine our understanding of these places and what they mean to us. In particular, I have been focussing on sites in Derbyshire and The Peak District, including standing stones, circles and barrows, but even within this small area there is a wealth of archealogical evidence of human activity, from the Bronze Age through to the Romans and the more recent remains of the industrial revolution. Many sites are steeped in folklore, legend and myth, yet it seems little can be said for certain about their purpose and original intention - perhaps it is this mystery that brings people back to them time and time again.

My practice has inspired a number of recorded pieces of music, which you can find out more about below, or listen to over on Bandcamp.

Phase 1 was published on the Autumn Solstice, September 23rd 2022. These pieces have been a departure from my usual method of production and composition, utilising only hardware synthesisers and FX units, whilst recording to multitrack tape live, in a number of takes. This technique has opened up a much more organic approach to creating these pieces, and one that has allowed me to perform ideas rather than programme them. In a recent edition of the Fortean Times, Bob Fischer wrote: "Towering modular synthesisers depict bustling platforms of busy stations at Bronze Age and Neolithic sites throughout the Peak District"

The second Phase of the Megalithic Transport Network series of releases, featuring live 'straight to tape' recordings using my AE modular system and Korg MS2000 was published over on my Bandcamp page on the Spring Equinox, March 20th 2023, a time for new ideas and creation. It feels that since many of the sites I've been studying during the creation of these recordings are so heavily focussed on the annual cycles of the moon, sun and stars, that I should align my releases accordingly.

Phase 2 brought together more of the locations that inspire the series, focussing on additional sites in the Peak District and also coincided with cassette releases for both recordings. Listen below.

In addition to Phase 1 & 2, I recorded a number of pieces inspired by a trip to Harthill Moor, focussing on this fascinating location and a 'what if' excavation and survey that takes place as plans for Phase 3 are considered. Published on the Summer Solstice, June 21st 2023.

Alongside the live pieces I've been composing, I've also been creating maps and information to accompany and further develop the idea of the Network as a real life endeavour. As each recording is published, this artwork is updated to provide context and root these ideas in the project as a whole, and the wider landscape of Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire.

I post photos, sounds and information relating to the MTN over on Instagram @megalithic_transport_network Thanks for reading.


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