In his debut spoken word album, Wheeler Antabanez paints verbal pictures of the abandoned Essex County Hospital Center in Cedar Grove. This wide-ranging recording delves into the history of Overbrook Asylum from the point of view of a habitual trespasser who grew up near the hospital. It also examines the lives of patients who once called Overbrook home and chronicles the ongoing demolition of the insane asylum.
Wheeler will be reading from his book “The Old Asylum” at the Montclair Library on March 15 at 7 p.m. as part of the library’s “With the Author” series presented by the MPL and Watchung Booksellers. He has also promised to perform pieces from his new spoken word album and will be showing a video presentation about Overbrook Asylum.
The new album can be purchased from a variety of online stores, such as iTunes and Amazon. It’s the perfect listening for long drives or doing work around the house. Or choose to listen to the album for free at luckycigarette.com on a track-by-track basis.
Stylistically influenced by beat poets such as Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski and William Burroughs, Wheeler draws inspiration from the abandoned hospitals on the hilltop. Overbrook Asylum and the Essex Mountain Sanatorium are the focus for the spoken word pieces featured on the album.
“I was putting down a new floor in my house and it took me about a month to complete. While I worked, I listened to recordings of the old beat poets and they spoke to me in a new and exciting way. I found myself writing line-break poetry deep into the night when I should have been sleeping.” Antabanez said.
This outpouring of creativity that eventually became the album “Words of Overbrook” was also precipitated by the demolition of the hospital.
“I’ve been documenting the demolition of Overbrook for many years. Now that the insane asylum is almost completely gone the words poured out of me like never before.”
With new material, “Words of Overbrook” picks up where Wheeler’s book “The Old Asylum and Other Stories” leaves off. Be prepared for some spooky listening and embark on a journey through the fallen wards of Overbrook Asylum with Weird NJ correspondent Wheeler Antabanez.
Listen to the album and download art @ http://luckycigarette.com;