Friday, 20 August 2010

A dusty old poem

I found some scans of a splat poem book thing I produced for a project at Dartington. The recording of the performance has long since vanished, so I thought I'd better record what I can remember of the event here.

I seem to recall the performance involved me slowly progressing through the pages book, performing each double-page by first focusing on the left before introducing elements of the right page and drawing on them simultaneously then performing solely from the right page. Once that was done I'd turn the page and restart the process as seamlessly as possible. This created a nice mix of slow progressions and abrupt shifts. It took about twenty minutes to work through the whole text, which I performed behatted and becaped in a hot studio. I built the sense of encroaching exhaustion into the piece, exploiting my lack of breath and straining voice for all it was worth.

I'd distributed noisemakers amongst the other students, who were mostly music students I think as this was for one of the optional cross-disciplinary modules. They were a bit nervous at first, so I had to bring them in with a gesture and conduct them for a couple of minutes before they really got into the shifting rhythms and began to bounce off each other as much as anything I was doing.

I think this remains the furthest I've ever taken the splat poem as a form, certainly as an act for a single voice, but I feel certain there's far more still to be done with it if I can challenge myself not to slip into a mode of delivery which is now so familiar and comfortable to me that it no longer feels like a worthwhile activity.

In other news I've been doing some comedy performances recently, audio recordings of which will hopefully find their way to me soon (and will naturally turn up on this blog when they do).


Blogger Olchar E. Lindsann said...

Ah, I remember this book!

A Committee for the Preservation and Development of the Splat Poem ought to be chosen, convened, and then smashed by a lead piano.

25 August 2010 at 09:43  

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