Literary influences explored
Michael Price

Christmas is a time for dis-engaging from hectic everyday life and indulging in something slower, more thoughtful.

If you're anything like the Clash team, then this probably involves a good book. A chance to let our imaginations wander, to lose ourselves in another narrative, the team will no doubt spend the festive period soaking up enormous amounts of prose.

Erased Tapes composer Michael Price seems to be cut from similar cloth. Following work on a number of high profile film projects, the musician is ready to release material under his own name. Recorded at Phoenix Sound inside the world-famous Pinewood Studio, 'A Stillness' matches a serene, soundscape quality with moments of pop clarity.

An imposing introduction, Clash invited Michael Price to enter Their Library...

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What is your favourite book and why?
'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath. When I was young, it opened up the terrifying and wonderful possibility of connecting with someone through their work.
 What other authors do you like? Sebastian Faulks, Henry Thoreau, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes, John O'Farrell, George Orwell, Jon Ronson

What draws you to certain books?
A commentary on our lives now, and an insight into other people's lives.

Have you ever discovered a real lost classic? What is it and why?
I definitely didn't discover it, but Rilke's 'Letters to a Young Poet' is a constant source of creative inspiration.

Do your literary influences have a direct impact on your songwriting?
They did early on when I was writing more contemporary classical works, based on TS Eliot and some of the Pre-Raphaelite writers. Now it's more oblique, but always there.

What are you reading at the moment?
The last thing I downloaded on my Kindle was 'Bring Up the Bodies' by Hilary Mantel.

What is the first book you remember reading as a child?
I remember reading, and copying out, the Beatrix Potter books, like Mrs Tiggywinkle. I've always been a geeky kid!

Did you make good use of your library card as a child / teenager?
My parents always had lots of books in the house, and we had both a great local library and a school one too.

Have you ever found a book that you simply couldn’t finish?

Lord of the Rings!

Do you read book reviews?


Would you ever re-read the same book?
Yes, for comfort and to chart the passage of time.

Have you ever identified with a character in a book? Which one and why?
It's a bit of a cheat, but like a lot of people, I really identify with Thoreau in Walden.

Do you read one book at a time or more than one?
On holiday, I read lots, one at a time, when I'm working hard like now, I dream of making the time.

Is there an author / poet you would like to collaborate with?

Simon Armitage, as I think he's a genius, and we were both born in Yorkshire.

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'A Stillness' is out now.


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