The past week I've been fortunate to have been working with Gemma from Action Hero and bunch of talented young artists at Contact responding to Lou Reed's iconic album: Transformers.
The week has been an eclectic, trashy and chaotic mix of pop culture and iconography and I've been amazed at the amount of rich material full of nuance and connection we created from the album and videos of Warhol, Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn et al.
I also found out that Gemma also completed her Masters at Bretton Hall whilst I was an Undergraduate there - I thought I recognised that unique approach to devising from somewhere... we get around us Brettoners!
The week culminated in what I can only describe as a pop culture orgy extended improvisation which lasted 1 hour 40 minutes and left me feeling a little like I'd just woke up after a particularly mad party - it was glorious.
Here's a little snippet from the week, a short piece I wrote using automatic writing techniques and the song Goodnight Ladies, Goodnight from the album...
Goodnight ladies, ladies goodnight
It's time to say goodbye
I heard you say
From 9 months away
Maybe I said goodbye to you from my mother's womb
Or was it in year 9?
Perhaps it was the time we stole your Christmas tree and hid it in the wardrobe and you cried.
Now I'm looking at trees and tinsel and fairy lights through steamed up lenses.
Let me tell you, now, goodnight ladies, ladies goodnight
It's time to say goodbye
I heard you say from some cosmic slip of time and space
A rip in the flesh the womb
Or an extra twinkle in the apple of my father's eye
And there was a sigh and a sadness in your voice the last time we met
Got high and fucked and we laughed and we joked
The three of us
Like we always did.
But now its goodnight ladies, friends, lovers
And hello from a new place, wherever that is:
Floating, flying, breathing, crying,
yearning, needing, wanting, bleeding,
hoping, praying, wandering, staying,
running, dreaming, instagramming, free-wheeling,
Capturing the moment in digital
And sharing ecstacy
Your body next to me:
staying, going, to-ing, fro-ing,
sitting, sobbing, laughing, throbbing
praying, praying, praying and praying even though I've lost all belief
Always cynical you said, he says.
And I remember I saw a vision of Adam on the balcony of the church we were in
(Which was packed out by the way)
And a sweet sweet bee, dripping in Snapchat honey, connected me to him and him to you and you to me and me to my lover and my lover to you and back to me
And for one brief moment I felt like
The centre of your Universe.
And then instantly I was wracked with guilt about being so turned upside down
But I cried for weeks and weeks and weeks
Witnessing turkey and good cheer but never feeling a part of the festivities...
I wonder if that's how you often felt at parties tanked up with gin and white horses -
Observing the world but never partaking.
Perhaps it was preordained and I we just couldn't see, after years of being told:
Let it be, let it be, let it be...
But, perhaps, the coo-coo-coo-choo wasn't enough for him, for me, for us, for you.
So now I'm saying
Goodnight ladies, ladies goodnight.
Action Hero's next show 'Wrecking Ball' is on tour this autumn/winter.