Oliver Ray notes – “A lot of the poems in Fall of America take place in the ear, the book is in many ways an extended road trip journal which culminates with the death of Neal Cassady whose spirit is forever connected with the road and who was familiar with so much of the imagery we see through the windows of the poem. “Cremation Piece” is an attempt at an audio cremation, a pyre made from images collected from the poems and stitched together by No Land, gathered around Allen’s tender poem for his friend.”
“In Spring 2021, Oliver Ray invited me to collaborate with him on a track he was creating for the Ginsberg Estate involving Allen’s poetry. I very happily accepted. When I was a young poet, I had often attempted communications through the veil with Allen, seeking him out for guidance, imagining him father-like, a gemini-nyc-kindred force. To work within this bygone-but-still-ignited realm of poet spirit was a deep gift and a way of thanking Allen. Oliver’s early musical sketches were moving to me, haunting, heart-felt, with a “drive thru Maya wall” reach beyond. While ruminating on what I might contribute, Oliver and I simultaneously began a journey of traveling across country – back and forth several times, between New York City, the Southwest, Maine, California and all between. Allen’s voice accompanied us often in the car. Pieces from The Fall of America Volume 1 compilation, Naropa lectures, poetry readings – we heard Allen riff on the painted desert in pink New Mexico. What guidance and mysterious parallels between our journeys and his, fifty, sixty, years apart – might have culminated in this Cremation piece – which was also sculpted, recorded and mixed between both NYC and the Southwest. Travel notes, radio shards, poem fragments, road shines the need & love “to go”, the Way, ramblers-motion-ethos. In the studio I worked from a similar times and planes, selecting lines of Allen’s from all different years that struck me, combining and speaking them into new forms. I like to imagine Allen would welcome our contribution as a continuation of the work of poets who travel between all the states.”
Oliver is responsible for “Synth, Acoustic Guitar, Chakapa, Fire, Old Radio Broadcast and Voice”. No Land, for “Film, Vocals and Ginsberg Poem Arrangements” .Cornelius DuFallo also appears on violin.
And there’s another cut from the forthcoming (Mark) Kramer-produced The Lion For Real, Reborn project (release date, November 3rd, next Friday) – Kramer’s interpretation of “Don’t Grow Old” (words and voice – Allen, music and instruments, Kramer)
and next week (Friday Nov 3). (more about it next week) the upcoming James Schuyler Centennial