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24 November 2016 ListenReadWatch

Blood Music in the Project Space

"During my working week, I am a writing a PhD about experimental poetry at Royal Holloway. For the residency, I spent the mornings and afternoons in the project space continuing my research into theories developed on and around Performance Writing, reading John Hall, cris cheek, and Caroline Bergvall, then Paul Virilio on dromology and Slavoj Žižek’s Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours. When I got cold, I would play and record snare drum, Monotribe, found objects, or voice, until I warmed up again, and then return to reading and writing. Since 2010 I have been developing an audio/visual work called SPEED READING WITH BLOOD MUSIC. It is a conceptual text/sound composition made of selected writings from 2012-2016, including song lyrics, poems, Tweets, written notebook and phone entries, and words collated from the texts of others. I update it all the time and for each new Blood Music show I edit a new film, which is projected at 200 words per minute (a reasonable speed for accessing text), in various colours, constantly, as a proper physical communal stream of consciousness. At live performances, the viewer can dip in and out of the words as they like, read or not read, treat the text as a lighting device, installation, or as visual noise. SPEED READING WITH BLOOD MUSIC represents selections of my texts in a live context as a way of resisting modes of poetry publishing and circulation that I find oppressive, and/or boring. If anyone would like to access my poetry, they can do so in the live moment. On the Friday of the residency, with help from two friends, I made a new video for SPEED READING. Sandra Keating filmed Helen Frosi pouring several packets of FIZZ WIZ SUPER LOUD POPPING ACTION into my mouth; then, when my mouth was full with candy, she poured in one can of Guinness. When I eat popping candy, the sounds are happening inside my skull.

Another film, “The Course of Empire, Thomas Cole 1833”, is a speed-read poem:

I also made films with snare drum and “acid hand drum”. Acid hand drums can sound similar to shime daiko, the snare-drum sized taiko drum.

When I played at Soup in Tokyo, a woman who had just seen my performance said to me “Blood Music is like festival”. I try to live up to that with every Blood Music performance, live or archived. I like that SPEED READING is an on-going process, and I decided a while ago not to release a new record until I was ready - enjoying time out of the production of cultural capital except that which is produced in the live moment. Blood Music is central to how I live my life and experience the world; everything I do goes into Blood Music, and so live shows, records, clubs, and literature are all part of the whole."

Big thanks to Helen and Sound Fjord for inviting me, Fielding and OTO for putting up with me, and the Diagonal boys for sending me my gorgeous long-sleeve tees that kept me warm.