07 April 2005

First performance successful!

Just came from the first, and quite successful, performance of the poem at my maternal grandmother's home, Trillium Lodge, in Parksville, BC. I think it was enjoyed by all. My first time all dressed in performative (well, performance-oriented) garb: black, ever-so-slightly-shiny shirt, black slacks, black belt, black shoes. Rhabdos aside, I look a bit like a Blues Brother. And my hair declared a ceasefire in our unending struggle, which had lately entered a neocolonialist phase.

Today's show was interesting as my first attempt to limit the duration of the poem by compressing the epic material -- in this case, to its bare bones, hitting the 15 minute mark. This seemed a trifle short to the non-senior listeners, I believe, but as the audience was generally over the age of 80 I think it was the right approach. People who have not heard the poem are unlikely to think that 15 minutes is an extremely short show for an epic poem, but it really is. I continue to think how to hit the 30 minute mark for younger audiences at schools; inevitably, much compression has to be spontaneous.

I see I completely forgot to describe the music we listened to on the way up to BC (which a veteran of many road trips had requested that I do) -- so here it is:
  • Pulling out of the driveway and some way along the 280: U2 (Greatest Hits)
  • Through San Francisco: Van Morrison and the Chieftans
  • Across the Golden Gate bridge: total silence but for the humming of documentary cameras
  • Stuck in traffic for an hour, north of Oakland: Smetana's "Die Moldau" (several times)
  • On the road that day: Bjork, Radiohead, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • On the road the next day: lots of recitation, also more Radiohead, also Neil Young's "Comes a Time"

And . . . I'm about to run out of time once again at the extremely friendly Parksville Library. Tomorrow I fly to North Carolina for a conference at Chapel Hill on "House, Home, and Household" -- strange as that sounds in the gear-up to the Tour -- which I'm very much looking forward to. When I return, the Tour proper begins!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great location to launch your Tour!
Your grandmother must have been so excited and proud!
Can't wait until you reach Ottawa!
Happy Trails!