Swift Wings & the Cult of Water

Swift Wings & the Cult of Water

An immersive evening of mesmerising melodies, pagan poetry and spoken word in the beautiful ambience of St Andrew’s Church, Steyning. 
Featuring SWIFT WINGS,  a spoken-word and live-music performance by Justin Hopper and Sharron Kraus, based on their album of the same name, and THE CULT OF WATER, a captivating monologue by David Bramwell accompanied by music, animation, the voice of Alan Moore and archive film.
SWIFT WINGS is a haunting performance piece featuring Justin Hopper reading Victor Neuberg’s Sussex landscape poems, set to Kraus’s original music performed live on recorders, flutes, synths & vocals, with hypnotic visuals by Wendy Pye.

The poet Victor Neuburg is best known for his early, tragic relationship with the infamous Aleister Crowley and, later, for ‘discovering’ Dylan Thomas. But he was also a prolific writer and poet, and ran a small publishing press from his home in Vine Cottage in Steyning during the 1920’s, publishing writers from the Bohemian subculture.

Writer Justin Hopper has long been fascinated by Neuberg, and in 2022 published the book ‘Obsolete Spells‘, which collects Neuberg’s Sussex poems and Vine Press oddities along with essays. Justin is also the author of Old Weird Albion, a psycho-geographical meander along the South Downs Way.

Sharron Kraus is a weaver of musical spells best described as “‘Pagan radiophonica meets medieval balladry”… 

David Bramwell will take you on a magical odyssey, in search of the occult secrets of our rivers, and a drowned village which has long haunted his memories.
From his roots in Doncaster, Bramwell travels up the river Don and back in time, through the ladybird plague and drought of 1976 to the heavily polluted Don of Sheffield’s steel industry, up into the Pennines and back into a pre-Christian era when rivers and springs were worshipped as living deities. Along the journey Bramwell battles with his own thalassophobia (the fear of ‘what lurks beneath’); learns about hydromancy from magician Alan Moore, and encounters Jarvis Cocker on his own adventures, sailing down the Don on an inflatable inner tube…. His journey finally brings him face to face with the goddess of primordial waters, Danu, who gave her name to the Don.

David Bramwell is a writer, musician, broadcaster and performer who also organises the popular Catalyst Club events in Brighton & elsewhere. His other books include The Haunted Moustache, No9 Bus to Utopia, The Odysseum and The Mysterium, and his podcast, Adventures in Nutopia, is well worth a listen!
A short talk by Victor Neuberg’s daughter Caroline Neuberg on her father’s life, work & legacy. 
Doors open 7pm. Performance starts 7.30pm. 
There will be a bar serving local ales, cheap plonk & soft drinks. 
There is a large car park at Fletcher’s Croft, opposite the church. 
There is a bus service running hourly buses from Shoreham-by-Sea to Steyning.

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The Old Weird Albion with Justin Hopper and Friends

The Old Weird Albion with Justin Hopper and Friends

7.30 pm on Tuesday 1st May at the Gluck Studio in Steyning.

Join us for a very special evening as American writer Justin Hopper is joined by folk musician Sharron Kraus and special guests Geraldine Mitchell and Peter Pick, to perform a collaborative composition inspired by Chanctonbury Ring and the Downs around Steyning.
The performance combines readings from Hopper’s book ‘The Old Weird Albion’, a haunting work of psycho-geography tracing myths, memories and forgotten histories from Winchester to Beachy Head, with new folk compositions written and performed by Kraus on recorders, voice, synths and percussion.
Besides performing collaboratively, there will be short performances from Hopper and Kraus individually, as well as pieces from Sussex musician Peter Pick, and the first-ever UK reading by Irish poet Geraldine Mitchell.
Tickets, priced £8, are available at the shop or can be reserved by phoning us on 01903 812062. Tickets include wine/soft drinks, nibbles, and a £3 off voucher towards a copy of ‘The Old Weird Albion’.

Justin Hopper is an American writer of landscape, memory and myth, whose childhood visits to his grandmother’s home in Steyning inspired his life-long love of the South Downs. His journalism, poetry, audio projects and curated exhibitions have appeared in both his native USA and adopted UK home. He now lives in Constable Country with his partner and their son. His book ‘The Old Weird Albion’ is a lyrical and beautifully-written psycho-geographical memoir, charting Justin’s journeys amongst the South Downs, meeting New Age eccentrics, scholars, artists and folk historians in his search for forgotten myths and overlooked histories along the South Downs Way.

Sharron Kraus is a singer of folk songs, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose solo work and collaborations offer a dark and subversive take on traditional folk music. As well as drawing on the folk traditions of England and Appalachia, her music is influenced by gothic literature, surrealism, myth and magick. She has released 6 albums and has been featured in The Wire, fRoots, and Uncut. She has also appeared on Radio 3’s ‘The Verb’, and recorded sessions for BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Shropshire, and Freakzone on Radio 6.