I was part of the inaugural Speakeasy at the SELAR. Here's an edited version of that night.
Posts tagged ‘Writing’
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I went for a drink with a good friend last night. Amongst other things, we spoke about an Electric Universe and he asked me about this business here. I said I hadn't really done much. Time. Inclination. Sheepishness. etc etc. But then, I found this.
I'm a little bit obsessed by the weather. I have a little book of clouds which I sometimes flick through. Even though I am content with a good curdling cumulonimbus, I will look in this book at noctilucent clouds, Kelvin-Helmholtz or orographic lenticular clouds, and I will wonder if one day I will ever see them in the sky.
Experiments are usually done in laboratories behind closed doors as they have the propensity to explode. In your face. So, stand back, here’s an exploding experiment in Flash Fiction. It’s short and it’s sweet. It can be read in about 5 minute or less. I may walk away with my face all sooty, my hair blown backwards and my glasses on wonky, but hey.
Music has always been a massively important part of my writing (see “A Film For Radio“). When I write, I listen to music. Gideon Coe on 6 music has often been a trusted muse of mine as I settle down of an evening with my laptop and glass of wine close at hand.
I’ve always been a bit of a miserabalist and love a good ‘ol down beat song. I see my early draw to Joy Division as a kind of gate way drug into the musical world of melancholia.
I wrote a lot of ‘Strings‘ on the bus where it’s a necessity to plug yourself into something ethereal, melancholy and down right miserable to blend out the despair of the top deck of the X68 to Waterloo. I’m not too sure how it helps, but it just seems to work. To find a trusted friend to facilitate writing is a thing to hold on to. The Henryk Górecki “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” is probably one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.
The symphony starts off with an oppresively disconcerting silence. From this a cello rises and builds as the piece evolves into something that is almost too painful to listen to. I sometimes fear that this music is so humble, beautiful and unbearable it feels like it is channelling some kind of cosmic grief and I fear it might break my heart. I know that all sounds a bit verbose, but I defy anyone to listen to this and not be moved.
The other playlist here is something that consists of songs that Simon in ‘Strings’ would have as part of his “hangover playlist”, something I think everyone should have. Oh yeah, you’ll need a Spotify account to listen to them, or you can listen to it on the Last FM radio I made, but it’s in a random order. Enjoy.
Or you can listen to the playlist as a lastFM radio station
Born in the murky depths of Essex, just off the A13 in 1971, I graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Theatre from Dartington College of Arts in 1994 with two full length plays under my belt. I spent the subsequent 6 years “Fannying around”, as my dad would say. In fact, what I was actually doing was writing, performing and directing Theatre, Radio, making music and working as a Tour Manager and Swag Man in the music business. The latter supplied me with an anecdote about sleeping in Van Morrison’s unoccupied penthouse suite, and another about a woman who turned up to a Jethro Tull gig with a donkey. They are both rather dull, but I might reel them out if anyone buys me a drink.
It was during this time that I co-founded theatre company, Company InLimbo based in Oxford and we toured the UK and performed at the Potsdam Fringe Theatre Festival. I was also performing in various Fringe plays around London including the King’s Head in Islington.
While this was all happening I was playing bass in *ahem* seminal, art, indie, rock outfit CASTRO. We extensively toured those obvious bits in and around north London like the Barfly at the Monarch for about 4 years. The highlight playing to an almost empty “The Garage” venue in Islington even though Woody had forgotten his effects pedal. I say ‘almost empty’ as one of our biggest fans was hanging around the bar at the back of the VAST hall. A solitary and lonely Stiff Little Fingers fan who came to all our gigs in a tired and rather melancholic manner.
During this time I was always writing. I wrote short stories, poetry and “A Film For Radio” which was broadcast on Radio Four for their New Radio Season presented by Piers Plowright.
I’ve recently finished studying for an MA in creative writing at Birkbeck University so something new will be emerging soon, so keep an eye out for new material. Who knows, one day I may become a published writer and of course I will always continue wanting to be an Indie, rock star!