Clue One

Clue One

Freya, Cork, Ireland asked:
‘Where is your album buried, sorry planted..?’

Erland answered:
‘In Orkney, Scotland but it is an archipelago of over 70 islands. Here is a map.’

Simon, NY, USA asked:
‘Did you actually delete the digital file and there is only one copy in the world? Really?’

Erland answered:
‘Yes. The only copy of the music exists on a tape in the ground and I suppose in the memory of the players who recorded it.’

Sarah, Cambridge, UK asked:
‘Why??? I want to listen to it now, pretty please?’

Erland answered:
‘To learn the virtue of patience. It’s a collaboration with time and landscape, the soil itself. To do that, I need to wait too. Nothing would please me more than to dig it up and share the performances of those wonderful players but I can’t, sorry.’

MISTER35MM, London, via Twitter asked:
‘It will have perished before it’s dug up. You muppets!’

Erland answered:
‘Yes, perhaps it will and then we shall be content with silence.’

Weller, Woking, UK asked:
‘Has anyone found it yet??’

Erland answered:
‘No, I will dig it up in 2024, 3 years after I planted it but I will release clues to it’s whereabouts so anyone can find it for themselves before then if they so wish – a treasure hunt of sorts. The master tape is planted with a violin and a biscuit tin. In that is a score and some notes on how to get it back to me in. Happy seeking. Enjoy your stay on the islands.’

Clue Two

Clue Two

Irwin, Brighton, UK asked:
‘Aren’t you concerned that from your buried album could spring an “album tree” that grows and grows till it destroys us all?’

Erland answered:
‘No, there are very few trees on Orkney. It’s too windy for them to reach maturity or become saplings.’

Paul, Unknown, UK asked:
‘I think I recognise where you were for some of the videos. It’s a very beautiful place, once the visitor has recovered from the thrilling surprise of having to reverse onto the ferry. I will return with a spade!’

Erland answered:
‘Well spotted, good luck. Dig responsibly and only where you find a special stone that lays on the planting site. My Rune stone marks the spot and it is still there, waiting patiently.’

Samantha, Paris, France asked:
‘Do you believe music is a spell? I do. Can we all hum an invisible lullaby that makes cruelty stop? That makes us peaceful together, kinder? The invisible song.’

Erland answered:
‘I am pleased you believe that. Art is the one thing humans don’t need to do to physically survive each day but it is perhaps the one thing we all need to live. There is certainly magic in song, where it comes from, how it survives and moves between a collective conscience over time, perhaps joining invisible dots.’

Justin, North Yorkshire, UK asked:
‘What time of year did you go there to bury it and if I were to find it, would you give me a lesson on that violin in return for the tape?’

Erland answered:
‘Spring. I drove it alone from London to Orkney planting in May 2021. I’m not very good at the fiddle. Daniel Pioro is the lead violinist on the recording with a string group he put together called Studio Collective at the RCS in Glasgow. The music now only exists on that tape and in their memory. The violin planted in the soil is not Daniel’s precious instrument but my own.’

Nadia, Italy asked:
‘Hey, this is such a wonderful idea, I’m here for it! I only wish to be the one to find the tape. More importantly what type is the tin of biscuits??’

Erland answered:
‘A Scottish shortbread assortment. In the tin you’ll find some trinkets - a full score, stones, dried seaweed, a postcard and a letter on how to reunite it with me, including my phone number.’

Carolynn, Cambridge, UK asked:
‘If/when it’s found, will you stop releasing clues and publicly let us know?’

Erland answered:
‘Yes. I hope someone finds it. It will be dug up 3 years from when it was planted. If someone steals it, even then it will still see the light of day, whether that’s in 3 or 30 years. If that’s the path it chooses, so be it.’

Unknown, St. Pancras Old Church, UK asked:
‘Wait! are you the guy that buried an album?!’

Erland answered:
‘Yes, I suppose so. It’s planted not buried, not being exhumed but found - it’s about letting light in.’

Clue Three

Clue Three

Paul, Somerset Levels asked:
‘Hi Erland, a beautiful combination of music and the natural world, thank you! Can we identify the likely location from the clues and resources available before visiting these beautiful islands?’

Erland answered:
‘Thank you, yes. As a nod to Ian Rankin, who holds a paper copy of the score, the clues on the polaroid image released each equinox period, will form part of a simple puzzle or abstract map. The puzzle shares the same name as his renowned detective. Along with an Orkney map, anyone can figure out the location with some abstract thinking. I wouldn't be surprised if a 10 year old solves it first.’

Ben Matthews, Unknown asked:
‘Where do you stand on The KLF burning £1m?’

Erland answered:
‘I enjoyed meeting Mr Drummond. In his Curfew Tower he was reunited with a guitar, he played my 1965 Silvertone. I've a fond memory of him beating a radiator with a stick in time to the music we were making. He drove me to the airport at 4am and remained in 3rd gear for most of the journey. We spoke of many things and in my motion sickness, I don't recall what he said about that one. He did say, a great idea is one that stands alone without its creator.’

Miriam, Unknown asked:
‘Hi Erland, have you ever considered leaving another album under the sea? I guess that's too challenging for the album itself and people searching for it...for their survival I me, je, je, but why not?’

Erland answered:
‘On a record called Sule Skerry and another called Landform, I explored the north sea with drowned and dried tape loops, much like sea weed or kelp. I've always found the thought of scuba diving rather claustrophobic but I like to snorkel from time to time. The scuttled naval ships in Scapa Flow are a diving mecca and I was thrilled to read about Shackleton's lost ship being discovered, preserved after 100 years.’

Samantha, Paris, France asked:
‘Well, say a person found this trove on that cove, and instead of taking, gave. Added and item. What might that little gem be? ... (also, it seems I’ve been assigned a quantum life in Paris. Mercy!)’

Erland answered:
‘I believe that's called geocaching or letterboxing? Perhaps a tape-head or cattie-face owl feather. I'd like the tape and contents of the box to eventually remain in the Stromness Pier Arts Centre if they want it.’

Richard & Emily asked:
‘Would you recommend a shovel or a spade to unearth the treasure? Or maybe perhaps a small trowel would suffice? I wish we lived closer. We'd be out every weekend poking around the hills and shoreline!’

Erland answered:
‘Only if you find the rune stone on the planting site should you dig at all but thank you. I used a pick, a shovel and a spade along with the strong back of violinist Daniel Pioro. On reflection, it's not dug all too deep, no more that 2/3 feet but wide enough to home a violin and biscuit tin.’

Saskia, Melbourne, Australia asked:
‘Erland, I don't want to know where the spot is, but tell me how you knew you had found it. Tell me what this place means to you.’

Erland answered:
‘I wanted to plant it in the most northernly natural forest in the UK, Berriedale, but I didn't. I wanted to plant it on the summit of Ward Hill on Hoy, but I didn't. I planted it somewhere that would perhaps resonate with George Mackay Brown, a safe haven.’