13 April 2005

First Public Show

This has been something of a blog of firsts, so far: first performance, first Tour performance -- and now first public performance. This evening I performed at the Carnegie Community Centre ,at Hastings and Main in Vancouver. I'm pretty wrecked and don't have the strength to give it a good description; in brief, it was a marvelous audience (who literally didn't move a muscle during the whole 45-minute show: more confirmation of my meter theory, extremely appreciative of literature. One only has to spend a few hours in that beautiful building to see how much it means to the community there -- and there really is a strong and friendly sense of community, such as one does not meet every day.

As to the show itself, it featured a great deal of impromptu description and even an impromptu lament (for Wolfe, by a Highland soldier). I have been working on some Highland material for future shows, when I may have the privilege of performing in front of officers and men of Highland regiments, but I hadn't internalised it. The moment came, and I decided I would try it: total improvisation. Frankly, I'm amazed I didn't have a paralytic stroke, but though it was fairly rough I think it worked decently. I'm mulling over the idea of improvisation, as a concept, quite a lot, and will doubtless post at length about it later -- a key issue.

The filmmaker took a great deal of footage, I believe -- I rather dread watching it: if one's voice sounds weird on an answering machine, how much weirder must one look in front of a camera? -- and he says it's good stuff. Also on hand was the great Bill Richardson, making an audio recording and finally seeing the poem in performance; I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by him yesterday evening. I think I will feature in some way in a Bunny Watson segment in a few weeks' time. (If you don't know Bunny Watson, you really should listen in: this is creative radio like you've never heard before.)

For the life of me, I can't remember what I said in the interview . . . I know I couldn't remember any Sanskrit verse to recite, which was embarassing; but then there are probably more fluent speakers of Sanskrit in Canada than there are fluent speakers of Latin worldwide, and God knows how much contemptuous mail CBC would get if they heard me mispronounce my velar consonants.

Anyway, here are some images of myself in performance at the Carnegie Centre:

On the front steps, after the performance.

Probably invoking the "immortal angel" at this point (my modernisation of the Muse).

And, for that Photoshop fetishist in all of us, a little paranormal rhapsodising . . .


John O'Flynn said...

Congratulations on your great beginnings with your journey across CANADA and thank you for your kind words about Mulgrave School the other day. www.mulgrave.com is our school's website for those who wish to visit.

My students look forward to following you over the weeks to come.


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Anonymous said...

Wow, Jack, in the Photoshop'd pic you look all uphainein'd into some kind of enarrabile textum.


P.S. The department (at night) isn't the same without you. Do come back at the end of your tour.