Saturday, 12 March 2011

So, Up is Down and Down is Up

I am immersed, in an ongoing disconnect.

By habit, I am early riser writer. Happiest getting up around 6am, before the family and work start knocking my door. Yet here I am, after the 10pm point, listening to music via youtube (at this very moment Theo Parish's Soul Control), catching up on the previous day’s facebook action.

The reason why I am resorting to this strategy for my musical fix is because my personal laptop recently gave up the ghost. So, no spotify; no BBC I Player, no free rein downloading and a whole heap of corporate fire wall clogging my work computer. Lovely.

Still, I can write (naturally, I still have all my fingers), pick up e-mails and go on facebook in the evenings. And it does no harm for a writer not to get too comfortable, I hear.

The disconnect festers and forms around a particular image, of the broken trampoline currently littering the back garden. A casualty of the recent freak high winds, one if its arms has snapped clean in two, its metal skin folding like lips around the wound.

Speaking of which, we have two shows coming up soon. Both of which are outside our usual home patch of the North East and are in Leeds and York.

It is also the first time that we have done a collaborative venture, in this case with the brilliant Monkish Wordtank, and together we are putting on the Word Machine show at the York Theatre Royal on the 17th March.

It is going to be a mixture of performance/spoken word gems, some short films and a bunch of open mic sets. We are hoping that the local York scene have gotten wind of the night and are going to come down and raise hell.

It is inert. Rain water gathering within its black canvas and netting. A mouth in rigor. Mourners flank its sides. A colour bled slide, an overturned plastic house, various rain splashed small trucks and spades. All witnesses to the trampoline’s destruction and who still  keep a vigil on the corpse left behind in the wake.

To be honest, I am also selfishly hoping people are going to come along and watch us shake our collective tushes. Viv Wiggins and I are going to attempt to breathe new life into a piece called Muse which I wrote for Vol 2 of our zine “I’m Afraid of Everyone” and performed at our launch, a proper Ink/Tank cross over.

Equally weighing on our minds is a night we are organising with the Cadaverine Press for the Headingley Literary Festival on the 22nd. The Self 101: An Introduction to YOU will be our first event where we are doing the whole shebang in character and thematically linked.

The trampoline’s remaining arms stretch out into the black sky, occasionally shivering as a gust of wind artificially animates them. It is a pathetic spectacle, a last gasp and gesture towards the unknown source and force that crushed the purpose out of it, a cry of why directed into the cold, uncaring void.

All of our characters are pretty messed up. Mine is a particular self generated brand of self indulgence, misanthropy and rage. I have been using the music of Oxbow ((S Bar X) to transport me mentally into the right place in between rehearsals and to get the juices flowing. No holding back, no limits. Well… that’s the idea.

There will be live music provided by my brother, who plays in a local Leeds band I Concur and John has put together some stunning visuals for the night. We are hoping it will be as enlightening as it is disorientating and again any support you can give us with be greatly thanked.

Questions arise and are answered in an instant. Modern market forces dictate that that the trampoline is the product of the East and cheap labour. That it was probably air freighted over thousands of miles and arrived at this point as much a result of global economics as weather fronts, storms gathering over the Atlantic and finally the fatal attack on the inland terrain which has claimed at least, one inanimate object.

Following these events we will be throwing ourselves into Vol 3 of our zine, I’m Afraid of Everyone. Again, to banish any claims of complacency we have decided to make this zine an audio book, and on top of that one where all the parts work towards a collective whole, rather than a loose anthology of disparate pieces of fiction and art.

Next, it will be collected for scrap. Sieved and dismembered, its metal limbs and skeleton transported to a burning inferno to be partially reborn. Possibly as scaffolding, maybe as parts for a series of cars, or to form the lining for a communal urinal. Evolution and devolution. Frighteningly arbitrary.

At this point all we want from any would be contributors are some examples of your best work and once we have reviewed everything we have been sent we will pick out the writers who we feel will be the best fit for the zine and story.

We are starting to get vague notions of the influences for the world the zine will occupy. Through the works of JG Ballard (South Bank Documentary), dark dubstep perfected by the likes of Raime (This Foundary), the promise of a new documentary about WG Sebald (Brief Doc about Rings of Saturn) and films such as Dogtooth and Bergman’s Persona.

The rest of the body, butchered back into various pieces and forms of plastic, will be recycled or consigned to landfill. Possibly to be delivered and exported back to its country of birth, to be buried in a hill of regurgitated vomit, yards away from the houses of the people who built the original trampoline, or their family and friends.

We are hoping again that it will be a platform for creative collaboration, as we will be looking for actors to provide the voices of the characters and narration, music to provide a sonic landscape and for artists to design the sleeve of the finished article.

If you are interested drop us a line and/or send us examples of your work. If you think there are artists, film makers and musicians we should be checking out, let us know.

I am immersed, in an ongoing disconnect.

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