A performance with mobile phones and stuff which is collaboratively written with the audience . . .

Two cities, each overlapping the other.


Two people who can no longer remember

each other's existence.


Two books.


Two platforms.


A singular reading experience.





Starts 20th April 2013. Bristol

These Pages Fall Like Ash.

Composed by Tom Abba and Duncan Speakman, with creative input from award winning authors Neil Gaiman and Nick Harkaway, this is a story told across two books. One is a beautiful, crafted physical artefact, the other a digital text on hard drives hidden across a real city and read on your mobile device. The two books will come together and provide a unique reading experience.

The Story

This is about a moment when two cities overlap. They exist in the same space and time, but they aren't aware of each other. It's a tale about two people who have become separated, one in each world, about their fading memory of each other and their struggle to reconnect.


One of the cities is your own; you become part of the narrative as you travel, moving from place to place. Your version of the story becomes about you and your place in your own city, about what you would hold on to, about what you would fight to remember.

How do I take part and read it?

Buying a ticket for this project gets you one copy of a limited edition book with a custom wooden cover; it's yours to keep forever.  Over the course of just under three weeks the book will become a guide to your journeys through Bristol. 


The rest of the story is digital text hidden around the city. To read it you'll need your own smartphone (tablets are fine too, and laptops can be possible).  You can participate casually, taking time out of your lunch break or walk to work, or put aside an afternoon each week and explore the city as you're never seen it before. Either way this project is only suitable if you will be in Bristol (UK) on a regular basis between the end of April and the beginning of May.


The narrative is written to be read alone, the way you'd treat an everyday book, but if you want to take part as a group, you'd be very welcome. You can start on the 20th, or join the story within the first week or so and catch up.


Everything will be over before the 8th of May. 


If you have any other questions please feel free to send an email to




Book a ticket

Tickets are currently on sale through the Watershed.


- Click here to book -


The project is in an experimental stage, and as such is offered for  the reduced  price of £12 (£10 concessions), for which you'll keep the wooden notebook and experience a first of its kind narrative experience.


As this project is sited in Bristol (UK) it's not going to be suitable for overseas (or even long distance) audiences. We are planning to release similar projects over the next year that will work all over the world, if you'd like to find out about those please do subscribe to our newsletter.



These Pages Fall Like Ash is one of eight projects supported by the REACT Hub, on behalf of the AHRC as part of the Books and Print Sandbox.

It has been developed at the Pervasive Media Studio.


Composed by


  Tom Abba


  Duncan Speakman


  Emilie Grenier


  Amy Spencer




  Nick Harkaway


  Neil Gaiman


with support from


 Infrastructure - Tom Melamed


 Location management - Ruth Essex


 Historical notes - Eugene Byrne



Books printed by Whitehall

Covers manufactured by CutLaserCut based on initial designs created at Timelab gent.



these pages fall like ash is a product of circumstance