The Lost Words: Spell Songs

Tuesday 15 September 2020 at 7:30 pm

We are very excited to announce that The Lost Words: Spell Songs has been rescheduled! We are delighted to welcome them to the Octagon Centre on 15th September 2020. All tickets purchased for the original date will remain valid for the new date. However, if you are unable to make it on the 15th, refunds can be obtained by emailing us here. In order to process your refunds as quickly and efficiently as we can, please email with your refund requests by Friday 3rd March. We will be able to issue refunds after that date, but these may take longer to process due to the high number of event cancellations taking place because to the corona virus situation.

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 eight 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: Tuesday 15 September 2020

  • Time: 7:30 pm

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

  • Duration: 1.5 hours + Interval

  • Price: £15/ £25

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