Ley Line

by Justin Hopper

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A poem-walk through Pittsburgh, PA, via Lewes, E. Sussex. In eight parts. With music by The Belbury Poly, David Bernabo and Host Skull. Featuring very special guest reader, Shirley Collins.

i. Falling Banks | ii. Shattered | iii. St. Pauls | iv. Disused Railway Station | v. Garden | vi. Interlude | vii. Ward and Wakefield | viii. Fourth River

"Draw a straight Line Made By Walking and follow it." - LaMonte Young & Richard Long

The poems in Ley Line were inspired by walks following an imagined line connecting points in Pittsburgh's South Oakland neighborhood: From St. Pauls Cathedral, past the Carnegie Museums and Library, through the block Keith Haring lived on circa. 1978 and the childhood home of Andy Warhol, to the Shrine of the Blessed Mother and spilling into the river. They are based on poems that appeared in the art exhibition Ley Line with a group of Pittsburgh artists.

In 2013, now living in the UK, I revisited these poems and bookended them with two pieces based on English folk songs that traveled to Appalachia: "Claudy Banks", "The Two Sisters" and "Banks of the Ohio", here altered to tell new tales. The incomparable Shirley Collins, whose work has had such impact on both English and American folk culture, represents the link between the two.

--Justin Hopper, April, 2014


released April 29, 2014

Written by Justin Hopper
Produced by Justin Hopper and Jim Jupp at Belbury Studios, Sussex
Poems recorded by Seb Letton at Old Foundry Studios, Sussex
Read by Justin Hopper, with very special guest Shirley Collins, MBE (parts i and viii)

i. "Falling Banks" composed and recorded by The Belbury Poly for Ley Line www.ghostbox.co.uk
vii. "All in One" by Host Skull (from the LP, Black Mark, on Wild Kindness records) hostskull.drupalgardens.com
viii. "The Pull as the Wind Bellows" by David Bernabo dbernabo.drupalgardens.com

Field recordings, found sound and other effects produced by Justin Hopper and Jim Jupp
Photo by Lisa Toboz thelongwayhomediaries.com

Special thanks to: Shirley Collins, Jim Jupp, David Bernabo, Host Skull, Lisa Toboz, Lucy Greeves, Seb Letton, Ben Schulman, Contraphonic Sound, Ben Hernstrom and Ambulantic Video, Nina Marie Barbuto, Ashley Andrykovitch, Emily Walley, Mark Pilkington, Assemble Gallery, Paul & Helen Hopper.


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