If you like murder mysteries involving fictional Twentieth Century English composers who mine traditional folk ballads to inspire operas, Wesley Stace has the book for you. It’s titled, “Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer.” The book is narrated by a music critic who is Jessold’s friend and partner in folk music exploration throughout the English countryside. After Jessold commits murder suicide on the eve of his opera’s opening night, his friend is motivated to write a kind of biography that slowly reveals the mysteries surrounding the composer’s death. You can click here to read an excerpt and hear music inspired by the book.
Speaking of music, Stace has written quite a lot of it himself, under the name John Wesley Harding. He began writing songs while he was a doctoral student, and he created a stage name to preserve his anonymity. That was more the 20 years ago, and since then his musical career has flourished. You can listen to some of his music here.
And click here to find upcoming events with Stace, including his multimedia extravaganza, the Cabinet of Wonders.