In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die: Ever drifting down the stream –
Lingering in the golden gleam –
Life, what is it but a dream?
– Lewis Carroll
In A Wonderland They Lie is a floating literary and musical salon, a riverboat tour showcasing writers and musicians whose work is haunted by a certain spirit of place: that strange, enchanted and often unnerving collision between the pastoral and the Ballardian that seems peculiarly English, an atmosphere that is particularly pronounced along this stretch of the Thames Valley.
Partnering with Thames Cruisers, this event will take place on board one of the beautiful Thames Cruisers to sail along the quiet middle reaches of the Thames allowing audiences to see Berkshire from the water.
This intimate event is curated by the writer, broadcaster and film-maker Michael Smith. Michael has written several novels for Faber & Faber (Giro Playboy, Unreal City), written and presented various documentaries for for BBC 4 (Citizen Smith, Drivetime), held a regular slot on BBC 2’s Culture Show, and recorded an album with Andrew Weatherall, among other things. He’s performed extensively, from the Royal Festival Hall to Glastonbury to the Colony Room, and has been a regular performer at Caught By The River’s stages at the UK’s best festivals.
Artists Performing include:
FRANCES CASTLE (DJ set)
Frances Castle is an illustrator and designer who runs Clay Pipe records a London based label that releases low run vinyl records in beautifully designed covers, specialising in atmospheric music with a strong theme or sense of place. She’llbe playing a mixture of laid back electronica, folk, psych, experimental and library music. www.claypipemusic.co.uk
NEOTROPIC – THE ABSOLUTE ELSEWHERE
The Absolute Elsewhere is the darkly exotic new work from British producer, vocalist and innovator Riz Maslen. Oscilating with ease between the intimate and the operatic, the earthly and the ethereal former Ninja Tunes artist and Future Sound of London collaborator Maslen has created an otherworldly song sequence intoning a graceful path through beguiling and disturbing territory.
Steeped in ritual and mysticism this is music of no fixed time or place, the sound of implausible dreams and impossible nightmares. Recording for the first time in nine years as Neotropic, Riz has alchemically melded psychedelic folk, post techno and vocal virtuosity into a richly personal modern mythology quite unlike anything else out there.
GARETH E. REES is founder of Unofficial Britain (www.unofficialbritain.com), author of The Stone Tide and Marshland [Influx Press]. He has written weird fiction tales for titles including This Dreaming Isle, The Shadow Booth, Unthology and The Lonely Crowd. Gareth is also guitarist/vocalist for garage punk band The Dirty Contacts and psych duo Black Arches.
For In A Wonderland They Lie he’ll perform ‘A Dream Life of Hackney Marshes’, music and spoken word about the London edgelands on the River Lea, as well as material from his forthcoming book, Car Park Life, a psychogeographic exploration of the UK’s retail chain store car parks. These commonplace urban landscapes are little-explored, yet shape the aesthetics of our towns and cities. They are hotspots for crime, rage and deviancy; a blind spot in which activities can go unnoticed. Prepare yourself for troubling vision of Brexit Britain through a common space we know less about than we think.