WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.
What is ANNOYING me this week?
The woman who tried to park her car in the boot of my car, this morning – too fast – too close.
What is DELIGHTING me this week?
The FIZZ on Tuesday.
HydranoidMusia – Sept 2011 Releases.
SOME OF MY DOINGS:
Last weeks blog was a consolidating experience that enabled me to get my thoughts on the Polesworth Abbey dig clear and as such ended the walking the subject process. Having written the blog I went on to produce five poems on the dig theme, which were critiqued at the Mad Hatters Writers on Wednesday and the Runaway Writers on Thursday – with a few minor tweaks they were read at Spoken Worlds on Friday.
The themes of the poems explored the context of the past being opened up in the present, which is the purpose of an Archaeological dig. The first Elegy takes the view point of the spirit of skeletal remains of the old nun as she tries to make sense of the 21st century world that she finds herself awoken too.
The Archaeological Strata of Polesworth Abbey is a poem that uses a form developed by Hench-4 for the Pooley country park site. The form lays down poems to reflect geological strata, each one sitting in top of the other.
My poem is designed with more archaeological features and sees words butt up against each other like walls built a different periods of time. The poem also has no obvious starting point, which reflects the archaeologist’s dilemma as to where to put the trench.
It is meant to be read from the page where the reader digs their trench into the poem and then makes an interpretation of the meaning based upon the words that are found in the trench. The layers of words and half-words sit like walls, tiles and broken pots providing several differing poetic offerings as to what is happening or where the meaning lies.
The content of my poem is very specific to the Polesworth Abbey site, as it should be for this small collection, I think other sites would offer further opportunities to develop the use and structure of this form. It is a very interesting poetically and needs to be explored further, which is something that I will do in the future.
My further three shorter poems explore the dig in context of the mound in the churchyard, with a concrete poem, Dispelling Mound Myths.
The extraction of sand and gravel which was highlighted by of all things, clay Pipes, with Clay Pipe Dreams and finally the development and use of utilitarian pottery, with Midland Purple.
Overall, I am pleased with the results and I am considering putting together a small anthology with these poems and others that I know are being considered and written by other poets. If anyone has any poems that reflect the Polesworth dig and they want to be considered for inclusion into a potential anthology then please do contact me.
As I said earlier it was Spoken Worlds in Burton on Friday, the monthly evening at the Old Cottage Inn, run so expertly by Gary Carr. There is a review of the evening by Gary Longdon at Behind-The-Arras.
The next Spoken Worlds will be on Friday 14th October with its normal three halves with a real mix of poetic and dramatic voices, as there is not just poetry, but also short plays and sketches and the occasional short story. It is well worth attending and a good space for new readers to gain confidence or for experienced readers to try new material.
In November, Spoken Worlds will have a guest poet with a performance from the fantastic Ash Dickenson, who is currently on a tour of Canada. Ash’s performance at Spoken Worlds is not one to be missed.
Gary Longdon’s review can be found at:
Saturday saw a trip to the cinema to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which is not a film for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed. It is the thinking person’s spy movie, so if you like your spies to be like James Bond then this might not be for you; I suspect that this film is more realistic in its portrayal of the world on spies in the Cold War.
It is has some excellent performances from a highly respected cast. Gary Oldman making the role his own, despite it already being defined by the wonderful performance of Alec Guinness in the TV series.
It stays true to the plot of John Le Carre’s book and only diverts in two aspects as far as I could tell, once with location at the beginning of the film, the book is set in Czechoslovakia and the film Hungary and secondly at the end, the book only hints at who performs the final shooting where as the film makes it clear.
An excellent couple of hours of tension, with prolonged shots on the characters faces that makes you want to get inside their heads to see what they are thinking, to see how Smiley is piecing together the intelligence to flush out the spy in the Circus.
I remember the TV series stretched out over seven hour long episodes, with the long silences, shabby rooms and characters who to all intents and purposes are respectable, whose passage through the street would appear uninteresting to most but in reality they are playing a bigger game. The game that sees scrutiny, analysis, thought and the nature of intelligence gathering with its precarious dangers and the uncertain blurred boundaries between loyalty and treason, friendship and foe. The film does not disappoint.
A friend of mine, Kirstie Brooks suggested on Facebook that you should sit close to back of the theatre for this film – if only to see everyone jump and the same time. – I thought it was just me.
This is well worth going to see, it is cinema at its best in my opinion and I do hope we see follow ups of Le Carre’s other Smiley novels The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People.
Antony Owen will be reading at the Fizz tomorrow night and will be performing his poems from his latest collection the Dreaded Boy to an accompaniment of music. To facilitate this I got together with my son Jimi, yesterday to work through the sound set up for the evening. Whilst my garage won’t have the same ambience and acoustics of the refectory at the Abbey, we were able to work out the base settings for the music and the mic which we can tweak when we are there.
As I have mentioned before Jimi runs HydranoidMusia which produces Audio Vista’s, he does not refer to it as music as any sound has a potential to be included in the tracks that he produces and the result may not be what is understood by listeners to be music.
HydranoidMusia uses the tag line “Creating Audio Vistas from the DNA of Sound” and Jimi along with the producer Mike Six who also produces for them want to develop tracks that are not just seen as stand alone pieces but something that enhances another art form, such as film. They see Sound as Art – not just audio pleasantries designed to entertain and make a profit.
Jimi takes the view that there is so much sound in our lives that we filter out, some of which has been tagged as Noise Pollution. Jimi sees there only being sound or noise, some of it pleasant or relevant to the listener, some of it less so. If there is such a thing as pollution as noise, then his view is we should recycle it. The result should be not necessarily something that is nice but something that triggers an emotion, which makes you think; that stirs the right action.
We got talking about its use in poetry performance, which I have seen becoming more widely used in the last 12 months. I have seen many poets use standard musical forms, from Jazz to Ambient music to augment their poetry readings. Sometimes it works well, but sometimes you get the impression that the music is masking weak poetry or performance.
I hasten to add that Antony is not included in this category as his set works really well with the frank, unapologetic words of the reality of war and its effects on soldiers and civilians gives an enhanced resonance when performed with the musical backdrop.
There is however a risk that poetic arts become song writing exercises and that the music creates the magic and not the words, (I think I have said before that there are very few lyric writers who I would consider a poet.) That performance becomes a poor Karaoke.
Jimi’s view is that the sound vista has to be developed as a response to (or vice versa) or in conjunction with the poem, that although they can each sit as individual pieces, the result of putting them together enhances the audience experience of both, such that there is a greater artistic result.
I am very much in agreement with these views and that true collaboration between cross-art forms means that artists have to step out of their world thinking and into the world of their collaborators. It is only then that the true enhancements of the art forms deliver the potential greatness of the piece. It is 2+2=5 where the result of the collaboration is greater than the sum of the individual collaborators. The buzz word in corporate worlds used to be “Synergy”.
Both Jimi and I are keen to explore this further with poets, so if you are interested adding sound vistas to your performance then by all means contact us.
I will return with a LOST POETS next week.
SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS
20th Sept – THE FIZZ at Polesworth – Guest Poet Antony Owen.
24th Sept – 100000 Poets for Change – venue TBA
30th Sept – Launch of Sculpture on the Mound at Pooley Country Park.
(I will be reading Bernadette O’Dwyer’s Poem Jutt)
Some advanced dates for October
4th Oct Night Blue Fruit – Taylor John’s House Coventry.
Guest Poets Janet Smith and David Calcutt.
8th Oct – 100000 Poets for Change – Birmingham
14th Oct – Spoken Worlds Burton.