Monday was the first performance of ‘Think of a Song’. No, don’t worry, you’ve not missed anything – this was the non-public part of the performance. If you haven’t fully grasped the concept of this show, let me explain…
All in the Mind
But first, I want to share my experiences from Monday’s show. This was performed in its entirety, with no breaks or edits. The space was empty, save the film crew, audio technician and myself. What was disconcerting was the sensation that, having thought the introductions (the part that will be heard on 31st May) in my mind, I than had the strange sensation of not knowing whether or not I was actually singing out loud .
It was clear that I was playing the guitar but I very nearly forgot to externalise the vocal more than once, as I had become accustomed to the voice inside my head. This was an interesting and disconcerting part of the experiment and, I have to admit, adversely affected my performance. It should not have been a surprise, since I always think of my shows as being a dialogue with the audience. Yet I came away with the distinct feeling of having in some way let myself down.
As an exploration of the role of the audience within a performance, this has – then – already yielded some significant results. All the more fascinating to see how it goes ‘on the night’. That is, the ‘second night’. Let me explain:
On May 31st, I will be performing the introductions to my songs in front of a live audience, who will then join me in thinking the songs as I play them through – silently – in my mind. Yesterday, I performed those same songs, in the same space, out loud and thought through the intros. This was all captured live on camera and digital audio. Footage from both performances will be edited together following the live show on May 31st and audience members will receive a CD of the songs they have just thought. Clear? Thought not!
Please don’t forget to book your tickets while they are still available. These can be ordered from Bath Festivals Box office on 01225 463362 or online here .
Preparations for the ground-breaking premier of ‘Think of a Song’ are well under way. A major element of the project is the filming, which is being handled by Martin Tomkins. Martin has already created stunning images for the show (as seen on this web site) and specializes in music videos, working with some great breakthrough acts, such as Port Erin and Rivers of England.
‘Aren’t you in Rivers of England?’ I hear you ask. Well yes, I am. And that’s how I became aware of Martin’s work. His video for the band’s recent single ‘In The Barley’ is a thing of sublime beauty: using hundreds of still photographs to create a moving sequence. And not just any old shots: each is perfectly framed and employs natural ambient lighting to amazing emotional effect.
So what’s that got to do with this show? Quite a lot as it happens. A key element will be capturing the two performances – yes two. In case you missed it in the blurb, the show comprises two performances: one with and one without audience. The first will take place in advance of the public show on May 31st, in the empty space, before it is set up for the Fringe. This will be filmed and recorded, the audio then presented to audience members after the live show on a complementary CD.
The film will capture and blend the two parts. In the first , I will be thinking the intros and singing the songs out loud in the empty space. In the second, I will be speaking the intros, then thinking the songs ‘out loud’ in front of an audience (including you, hopefully…). As well as providing a document of this unique event, the filming will serve to underline the role of audience as participants. In essence, you are the show.
I’m really excited to be working with Martin on this and know he will do a great job. Please note that in booking your ticket, you agree to be filmed and have your image used within the resulting footage, which may then be posted online and broadcast through various channels and events.