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The Road North (Alec Finlay & Ken Cockburn)

By The Road North

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The Road North (2010-11) is a word-map of Scotland, composed by Alec Finlay & Ken Cockburn as they traveled through their homeland, guided by the Japanese poet Basho, whose Oku-no-Hosomichi (Narrow Road to the Deep North) is one of the masterpieces of travel literature. Ken and Alec departed Edinburgh on May 16, 2010 – the very same date that Basho and his companion Sora departed Edo in 1689. The result of their journey is a collaborative audio & visual wordmap realised as a blog, book, and audio recording, describing the landscapes they have seen and people they met. This audio accompanies a book-length poem published by Shearsman in October 2014. This recording is an abridged version of the poem, performed by Alec Finlay, Ken Cockburn, and Lila Matsumoto, with sound design by Geoff Sample.

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