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Jon Boden, singer with folk big-band Bellowhead, reveals how post-apocalyptic literature by writers from John Christopher to Cormac McCarthy influences his work.

Jon Boden is a folk musician who loves post-apocalyptic literature, works such as 'The Changes Trilogy' by Peter Dickinson, in which the people of England develop a dread of technology, Russell Hoban's 'Riddley Walker', set in the aftermath of such destruction that even the language has fragmented and Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road', in which a father and his son desperately push a cart with their few possessions, some tins of food and a pistol through a devastated land.

He thought this was at odds with his work as a performer of traditional English song, music that sometimes celebrates a bucolic idyll. But, after becoming a father, he began to consider the implications of contemporary geo-politics. With the end of an oil dependent economy, would reality and the world depicted in the literature he enjoys coincide? Or might this lead to a world closer to that described in traditional song, and the kind of society that produced that music?

Producer: Julian May.

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15 minutes

Last on

Mon 16 Jul 2012 22:45


  • Mon 28 Mar 2011 23:00
  • Mon 16 Jul 2012 22:45

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