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LISTEN: New Caught By The River 10"
James Benge , April 13th, 2015 11:14

More literary records from Caught By The River

Melissa Harrison Photograph courtesy of Brian David Stevens

Our friends over at Caught By The River are continuing their Rivertones imprint series with two companion pieces to Melissa Harrison’s forthcoming second novel, At Hawthorn Time.

Rivertones 003 focuses on specific moments and characters in the story, which is due to be published by Bloomsbury on April 23. The 200 limited edition copies of the record will be released on the same day, each copy placed in an individually silkscreened and stitched sleeve. The author described the sleeves, designed by Lucie Murtagh, as “breathtaking”, saying: “Watching this image come together gave me the entirely vicarious thrill that results from seeing something properly astonishing being born.”

Describing the two tracks that make up the record Harrison said: “The first, ‘The Boundway’, describes Jack, a poet, protester, landworker and seer, walking north up Watling Street, and in its folk-meets-Steve Reich structures you can hear the lifelong, loping rhythm of his steps.

“The second, ‘Babb Hill’, is much darker; it concerns a moment towards the end of the book when newly retired Howard, ex-roadie and vintage radio collector, sits on top of a hill at 4am and tries to decide what to do with the rest of his life. The tension in the track sent me back to the manuscript, and I rewrote the scene to reflect what it had captured. Collaboration is a two-way thing.”

The Rivertones series began with a recording of Under Milk Wood narrated by Richard Burton over a King Tubby dub. Subsequent works have seen pieces based on The Sea Road.

Harrison is a freelance writer and columnist for The Times and Guardian. Her debut novel, 2013’s Clay, received critical acclaim, with Ali Smith describing it as “beautifully written”.

Both At Hawthorn Time and Rivertones 003 will be launched at a special event at Rough Trade East on April 23.