Having met with key organisers to devise a plan for the evening, I went about planning and writing audio for the performance. This had to take into account the diverse nature of the other performers and the feel of the evening/venue. Key components were the inclusion of Janet Ayres and The Southsea Community Choir who set the tone for the evening with haunting, beautiful and unsettling vocal choruses that ushered the audience around the tower in Part 1 – The Horror in Clay. In addition, poets Becci Louise and Faye Smith provided me with a narrative to write my sound pieces around. This proved the best and biggest challenge, to compliment, add and develop their published works.
"Barnacles for Eyes" - Becci Louise
Working with Becci was Helena Eflerova as lead choreographer and practitioner of movement for a specific Becci Louise piece called ‘Wake’. Here was where the fun in developing the piece began. Helena send through a cue sheet with a wide range of sounds she had imagined in response to Becci’s piece. She highlighted where she felt they would work with each line in the poem, and what she would choreograph. Initially taken aback by the scale of the piece, I began to search for field recordings, archives of sound online and a range of other sounds that could act as a starting point. After an evening or two sat in front of the studio computer, staring at Reaper, I had a piece made from 40+ separate threads of sound that wove together to create an 8 minute + piece. This interlaced with Becci’s vocal which I duly sliced into tiny fragments and re assembled into a longer narrative to create space for the new sounds, and time for the choreography.
Equipment for the performance. Note a move away from computers with retro-90's Sony Mini Disk players!
I created other pieces to sit under the narrative for both Becci and Faye, and these can be heard in the performances. I played a range of self-built contraptions, including the Music Box Mechanisms device among others.
The night was another opportunity to work with Dr Lighthouse (Roy), whose live projections along with effects from The New Theatre Royal created a visually stunning stage. Finally, and hopefully before you listen to the recordings (note the natural reverb in the Square Tower, and difficulty recording the narrative!), please have a taster of the event by looking at a 360⁰ film made by my mate Jinx Prowse – the word immersive gets banded around a lot, but this really is: