I was inspired by Mark Hewitt’s performance of ‘expiry tbc‘ the other evening here in Lewes. It was actually a 3-person production featuring Peter Copley on live (and looped) cello, and wonderful lighting effects by Kristina Hjelm. I’d had the privilege of being in Mark’s workshopping group led by Mimi Khalvati earlier in the year, and he had brought along various versions of the text. But although some of the words were familiar, it was amazing how exciting and moving the whole package became with the addition of sound, light and staging. I’ve often fallen into the trap of thinking that performance poetry is mostly about shouting, rhyming and making the audience laugh. But this was something else entirely.
So I went back to my ‘3 voice canon’ poem – the one I sent to Magma for their theme ‘The music of words’ (still open for admissions, by the way) but was rejected, because they said they couldn’t see the connection between the stanzas, and I recorded it the way I envisage it being read. I used a bit of software called Audacity, in which it’s easy to record one track and layer copies of it over the top in a stagger. I was having so much fun I gave it four tracks in the end. So maybe I should re-title it ‘4-voice canon’?
I did it on one take, so I’m sure I could improve on it, although I don’t want to start putting on silly voices or making it over dramatic. Let me know what you think – thanks.