The Lost Words: Spell Songs

Friday 17 April 2020 at 7:30 pm

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, this concert has unfortunately being postponed to September – a new date will be announced next week. We acknowledge that many of you will be disappointed and we are devastated to have to cancel so many upcoming concerts, affecting both you, our audience, and the musicians and artists involved. All tickets for the original date will remain valid for the new date. However, refunds will be issued should you be unable to attend. Due to the extremely high number of  event cancellations currently being handled by TicketSource, they have said that refunds will unfortunately take longer than usual to process- thank you for your patience and understanding.

The University of Sheffield Concert’s statement about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here

Further information on the University of Sheffield’s current Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance can be found on the main website:


With a pre-concert conversation between Jackie Morris and Karine Polwart covering the process of creating The Lost Words book and the creation of the music you will hear during the concert. 

The Lost Words: Spell Songs has gathered together seven remarkable musicians whose music already engages deeply with landscape and nature, to respond to the creatures, art and language of The Lost Words, the bestselling book by author Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris. Those already familiar with The Lost Words, described by the Guardian as a ‘cultural phenomenon’, will know it as a work full of wildness, beauty and power.

The Spell Songs project has allowed these acclaimed musicians to weave together elements of British folk music, Senegalese folk traditions, experimental and classical music, and create an inspiring new body of work, including ‘Heartwood’, a charm-against-harm written by Robert Macfarlane for Sheffield’s street trees. Jackie Morris herself will paint on stage, her work fed to a screen so that the audience can see her painting unfold.


Karine Polwart – Banjo/harmonium/voice
Julie Fowlis – Shruti and voice
Seckou Keita – Kora and voice
Kris Drever – Guitars and voice
Rachel Newton – Harp/fiddle/viola
Beth Porter – Cello/ukulele/voice
Jim Molyneux – Percussion/piano/accordion/voice
Jackie Morris – Artist



“…one of the most sublime evenings you will ever enjoy. The magic of these superstars onstage – the art, the music, the sheer, ravishing beauty of the language… one of the greatest concerts we’ve ever had.”
-Peter Florence, Hay International Literary Festival



  • Date: Friday 17 April 2020

  • Time: 7:30 pm

  • Location: The Octagon Centre 
Western Bank
 Sheffield S10 2TQ

  • Duration: 1.5 hours + Interval

  • Price: £25 / £15

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