Gabriel Bruce’s Sleep Paralysis book

08.12.11 Words by: Charlie Jones

One of the most exciting new voices in London belongs to Gabriel Bruce, a striking man with a deep voice and an interest in the science of sleep, poetry and singing epic songs. His three interests have dovetailed into one beautiful book, with a 7” of Sleep Paralysis / No Love Lost, put out by south London art gang Off Modern. You can hear below his answers, and underneath them is a set of lovely shots of his book, which you can buy here.

How did the release come about?

Will from Off Modern is a good friend of mine. When I began making music on my own [Gabriel was the singer in rock band Loverman], I would send him songs to get his opinion. At the time I was interested in releasing a book of poetry through Off Modern; however, the poetry was bad. The songs were OK. Will, ever a benevolent spirit was kind enough to release the book and song together.

Can you tell us a bit more about phenomenon of sleep paralysis that the book explores and the track draws the title from?

Sleep paralysis is a sleep disorder that occurs in the period between the hypnogogic and waking. The song is unrelated though it uses the experience as a sort of metaphor. Maybe the song is more to do with being trapped while awake.

How would you describe the book and what were your intentions with it?

The book is a fictionalised research document which I in part wrote and compiled. I was influenced to the point of pastiche by poet and master-translator Anne Carson, whose books Nox and If Not, Winter, the latter being a translation of [Ancient Greek poet] Sappho, are two of the most moving texts I’ve had the privilege to read. The writing came as presented, in dregs and drabs, as I was researching the condition due to my own experiences.

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