Remembering the Dead (Audio Book)

by Jordan Reyne

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Set in Karamea, New Zealand in a forest where the Undead walk at night, desperate to tell their tales to the living, "Remembering the Dead" is a blend of folklore and some of New Zealand's forgotten pioneer history.

Lethe, a gravedigger in the employ of History, is sent to Kithicor Forest to listen to the Undead and harvest their tongues and stories. When Lethe arrives for the contract - back in her home town of Karamea - she discovers she is being followed by a ghost of her own who threatens to shatter her tenuous grasp on her own story.


Background

In 2003 Jordan was commissioned by the New Zealand Arts Council to research New Zealand's pioneer history. She was sent to a place called Karamea, on the west coast of New Zealand's south island. A town so remote it is still left off many maps.

Karamea was one of the earliest settlements, organized under the "special" settlement scheme by Eugene Oconnor in the 1870s. Families in the UK left their lives and relatives behind to journey for 80 days by ship in the hope of a better life. Whey they arrived in Nelson, there was no work for them, and a group of some 30 men were sent to Karamea, later to be joined by their families on allotment land. The land had been mis-surveyed, and most of the land was swamp and podzol, and therefore unfarmable. Surprisingly, the settlement went ahead, but tales of hardship and courage were abundant.

As part of Jordan's album project, she read through old letters, interviewed direct decendents, and talked to the local people about the stories that had been passed down to them. They ranged from the folkloric to the factual, and from the unnerving to the couragous. She focussed on a woman called Susannah Hawes for the album "How the Dead Live" but there were too many tales to let them go to waste or fit in one album.

In order to preserve the tales Jordan unearthed, she decided to set them inside a larger tale - a ghost story about a gravedigger, who goes to Karamea in the employ of History, to harvest the tales of the dead.


A Forest where the Undead walk at night

"Remembering the Dead" is set in a Kithicor forest - a place where the undead walk at night, desperate to tell their tales to the living. The undead are scared of being simply dead. The dead, as we know, are forgotten so the undead, spurred on by their fear, seek out the ears of the living - to give them hope that their lives were for something and that they will be remembered.

Lethe, a gravedigger in the employ of History, returns to her hometown of Karamea. Her task is to gather the tales of the undead, at least, those that seem to be of historical import. But a ghost of her own begins to interfere - slipping through from her past in the places where time is stretched thin. He is unhappy with the nature of her task and wants her to know it.

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released February 15, 2014

Read by the author, Jordan Reyne.

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about

Jordan Reyne UK

Known recently as the Resident Evil 7 vocalist (trailer track, "Go Tell Aunt Rhody"), Jordan is described by New Zealand's National Radio as the pioneer of a new sound, Jordan's music is a blend of irish/ celtic rock, steam-era machine noise, and Grimms fairytale-eske lyrics. Imagine PJ Harvey trapped in the workhouses of Industrial Revolution era England, with only Nine Inch Nails for company. ... more

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Track Name: The Brave (from "Remembering the Dead")
There's a black dog from the Fenian Rd
He follows everywhere I ever go.
When the earth is bare and nothing grows
He is company and we, will turn the stones.

When the men are gone and the women speak
O her pretty eyes turn blind to me.
Though we mark the earth as we mark the time
Still she'll look at us, look at us as if we're nothing.

But maybe, we are the Brave.
Though I know she'll never say.
Maybe we are the Brave
but she'll leave here, all the same

Theres a dark man on Umere Rd
He speaks the native tongue none of us knows.
And of all her men, and all their deeds
She never speaks a word of his to me.

But maybe we are the Brave
Though I know she'll never say.
Maybe we are the Brave
She will leave here, all the same