Innovative and inclusive music and arts in Cumbria and NE

In 2023 we revisited activities from our Lithophones in the Landscape project at a workshop at the Fellfoot Sounds Summer Festival at Glassonby on the August 19th.

In October 2023 we collected and created sounds as part of Music From The Fells, linking musicians and field sound recorders. These were then performed at an event in late October.

A Fellfoot Forward Arts Project.

Here is a link to the AONB North Pennines website – our page!

“Lithophones In The Landscape” is an extension of our pilot project “Improvising the Landscape” which we delivered for Fellfoot in 2021.

Stephen Burke has joined Jilly Jarman and Geoff Bartholomew to respond to how the landscape is manifested due to its geological formation and how that shapes how we live in it.

We are really excited to be here again working as part of the Fellfoot Forward programme. We have been engaging local people, including children from Castle Carrock & Armathwaite schools, and exploring how the underlying geology is shaping the natural and built environments of the places they live and visit and creating musical and visual responses.

They have designed and created instruments using rock and wood and played with stone, water, wood, and wind to make a soundtrack from how these elements play on each other. They have also created poems and songs, shared reminiscences and emotional responses, contrasting the long time expanses of geological change and our perceptions of a busy and quickly altering present.

There will be a final soundtrack, made up of short pieces created by the schoolchildren using stone instruments they have helped to design and make, alongside sounds created by group sessions in special places especially where stone meets water. Verbal reflections will sit as a layer on top, just as our history and future is layered on top of the slow stone beneath.

What we have created…..


Over 80 people visited our outdoor musical space at the Festival of Nature. They played on the lithophones that Stephen had made, combined them with voice and gongs, and created pieces of music and charcoal in the workshop tent with Jilly and Geoff.


August 10th Melmerby, 11th Lazonby 12.30 – 3.30pm on the village greens. Despite being in the middle of the heatwave, these were great fun. We sheltered in a big gazebo on the green, and families came and played the stones that we were loaned from a local dig, alongside metal gongs, and xylophones, lithophones and drums. They also made up stories about the stones they could find in the area.


We had a great four visits to both schools and the students made some AMAZING music which you can listen to here. They also created a poem and song (see below) and came up with fantastic observations about stones and what it is like where they live. One of the ways they did that was to create a skyline using their bodies to imagine the river, bridges, gorges and hills. (See below)

Castle Carrock – Farewell to Water – an improvisation by KS 1.


We gathered a group of interested people who live, work in or visit the area, to make a soundtrack of the sounds of stone, water, wood and wind with spoken word, exploring through sound how individuals feel about how the geology of where they live/visit, and how it affects their experience of it.

Armathwaite Bridge Song – Armathwaite School
Stones Poem – Armathwaite School
Castle Carrock School – Stones and Disc piece
Stones game at Castle Carrock
Castle Carrock piece by KS1
Castle Carrock – conducted piece with stones on metal disc and washboard
Arnathwaite Weir – walking along the riverbank making sounds

Coombe Woods


Armathwaite Weir

Gelt Woods

Gelt Woods
Mark Bradley (painter) talks to Sophie Digings

Visual Art

Responses to stone sounds

Electronics and found sounds

Participants of all ages got a buzz playing with different apps to manipulate the sounds of stone and we also had a couple of professional electronic artists join in too.

Samplr piece created by young visitors to the final show at Brampton Community Centre
Two Cumbrians taking stone music to the ice-covered lakes of Sweden!