An Abandoned Work of Genius
I wake at 7am and spin down to the Southbank centre for 9.30am to meet an old friend whom I haven’t seen for ten years. Her name is Sally Gross and she is head of the Music Business Management MA of Westminster University. Sally is an extraordinary person.She also manages Gotanproject and Netsayi whom besides knowing a Zimbabwean friend of mine, Chiwoniso , is also the wife of another kindred spirit Patrick Neate. It is not “a small world” but a world of infinite possibility - the more you look the more connections there actually are.
Sally and I spend the next two and an half hours talking none stop. I knew Sally around the time I was in a band called Secret society some seventeen years ago. I show Sally around The Southbank, Centre, my poem on the counterweight, the silent two thousand seats and stage of Royal Festival Hall. There are so many links and connections thatthough there’s still miles of stuff to talk about in a whisk at noon she has gone to meet with a record company about a video for one of her artists. I’m already trying to work out when we can meet again.
At 12.30pm Jude Kelly the artistic director of The Southbank centre comes into the artist in residence office to see us all. Most of the artists in residence are here. Bellowhead, Shlomo, Creative Connections, new Deal of The Mind, Cape farewell, Gauri Triparthi and myself. The news is shared that there are going to be more artists in residence. It is an exciting prospect. I shall tell you about them another time. For the sake of brevity suffice to say it will liven up the place even more than it already is. We lunch together – there’s a spread. The artists in residence are a force to be reckoned with and in some ways it isjust the beginning.
The meeting ends at about 4pm and I am enlivened. I spend a couple of hours on various administrative responsibilities and quick twenty minute meetings and then at 6.30pm I popunder waterloo bridge only minutes away into the British Film Institute (BFI) to see a piece of film work Radio mania: An Abandoned Work by artists Iain Forsyth and jane Pollard. The music is done by guys whom are working with Nick Cave. It was a suggestion by Jamie Byng yesterday. I invite Tim caswell of creative connections.
It is the launch of the event and the actors are here. I think Nick Cave is here too. I am given a pair of 3D glasses and enter a dark box shaped room there is a line on thefloor between the two walls. On adjacent walls the film is shown. The line from the actual floor continues in the film. It is as if the film on each wall is integrated into the actual room I am stood in. The 3d effect gives the disorientating feeling that all which i am seeing is actually happeing.
On one wall of film is the central action, the rehearsals of a script, and on the adjacent wall are the musicians rehearsing musical ideas as the script is read. It is basically a rehearsal. But I am lulled into the story. I liken the experience to being on a ship where one realises that the world actually does tilt. It’s brilliant deconstructing or even celebrating the rehearsal as art in itself and i think loads of southbank workers would love it for varying reasons. It is rehearsal to see rehearsal and rare to see rehearsal as such. It onlylasts half an hour . Enlivened again i cycle home through the night. If life is not a rehearsal then this is living.