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Read & Listen: Ursula Le Guin’s ‘Weird & Enjoyable’ Electronica Album

M. Lynx Qualey

Staff Writer

M. Lynx Qualey is the founder of, a website that brings together translators, authors, publishers, critics, academics, and readers around discussions of Arabic literature in translation. She works as a book critic, reader, editor, and ghostwriter. You can follow her at @arablit.

Ursula K Le Guin (1929-2018) died this January after gifting the world dozens of wide, lyric, deep, and densely imagined books. But, as Geeta Dayal recently pointed out in The Guardian, few knew her “deeply weird and enjoyable” music.

Le Guin put together her album, “Music and Poetry of the Kesh,” in concert with composer Todd Barton. It was conceived as a companion to Always Coming Home (1985) and was re-issued this March 23. You can listen to a bit on SoundCloud:

University of California Press has also published an excerpt from the novel online. They call it an immersion in the “culture of the Kesh, a peaceful people of the far future who inhabit a place called the Valley on the Northern Pacific Coast.” Ideally, read the excerpt while listening to snippets from Barton and LeGuin’s weird, wonderful music.

Even More LeGuin Music

The Spanish guitarist and composer Àlvaro Barriuso also set some of the songs and dances from Always Coming Home to music. Barriuso, of course, used the Spanish translation of the poems.

You can listen and see the crazy accompanying video at LeGuin’s official site.

Also: “Seasons of Oling” is part of “a multi movement fantasy series by author Ursula Le Guin and composer Elinor Armer.” You can listen on YouTube.