Performance. Chasing Shadows

The weather sucks the big one. I was invited by Shlomo to perform with him on stage at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London  tonight.  What a blast.  Shlomo is a beat boxer. The event was originally at The Purcell Rooms which fits three hundred and fifty people. It sold
out so they changed to The Queen Elizabeth Hall which has a capacity of nine hundred.  That too filled to capacity. I wasn’t on the publicity so I am not taking credit for it. But it’s nice all the same to be invited. The stage background had projected upon it the words   “MUSIC THROUGH UNCONVENTIONAL MEANS”.  Gorgeous.

Meanwhile in Liverpool,  as part of The City of Culture,  The Long Walk, a massive music/theatre/community  project, was being performed with some poems that I had
written, amongst others,  and  a structure that I had watched form from the beginning to the end, through working with it’s composer Pete Moser. The next stop for this mamoth project is The Gate in Gateshead on 4th and 5th April.

 This is a note to myself and neither to Shlomo or his band who were all on top form.  I can only be critical of myself in terms of professionalism and artistic input especially as I was the source of the problem. The gig at The QEH was good but could have been better. Things invisible to an audience, in terms of seeing them as a problem, are very visible to me. 

The first time I was introduced on stage Shlo was looking in the opposite direction to
the one I entered from.  The second time I was introduced on stage I came on a few seconds late having missed the actual introduction backstage. I am responsible for these two mishaps.  I should’ve come on the same side as the band and I shouldn’t have missed my Q. Also, I opened some carbonated water on stage which spewed everywhere. I don’t think I was dressed right either.  All of these little ticks were not a problem with the audience, as such. But they were a distraction in terms of my own concenration to the job in hand.   What I mean is that to be relaxed on stage should be a deliberate internal decision, a result of knowing what you are doing.

I felt that this energy took away from other matters that I should have concentrated harder
upon. In the soundcheck I should have spent longer getting the onstage sound right with the monitor woman.  And in the rehearsal I should have pushed a little more.  I should’ve checked wether moving my mic moved me out of the lighting systems.  The event was filmed. All these little invisible things are in my mind important.  I could have therefore  improved the experience for myself by being more present, in sight and sound.  This isn’t a question, for me, of “was I good or not?”.  It’s something more fundamental. I’m giving myself notes here. 

A good gig is good but a special gig is special. They should all be special.  And maybe as a man said to me a few weeks ago ” your chasng shadows there lemn”.  Like I said before, here I am discussing my input and casting no aspersions on the excellence of Shlomo or his band.   

I heard the gig in Liverpool went down a storm.  Worth remembering that in reading  this blog  you are entering  some of the little compartments that make up my head. They may have no relation to  the wonderful  world that swirls around them. What this  event did show me is the  amazing possibilities of working with Shlo.  But I shall tell you a secret. Working in the environs of jazz scares the shit out of me. “he’s got form guv’nor”.  Actually maybe I am just becoming a big fat scaredy cat, the older I get.  Scratch the “fat” bit of that last comment. Hmmm maybe I should delete this last paragraph. I know what I wil l do. I will press save and then maybe put it up onto the blog  later.

10 thoughts on “Performance. Chasing Shadows

  1. Lemn you were great. A lot of people told me that your part was the highlight of the concert.
    It's cool that you are always looking to improve on what you have achieved, but I'm telling you that your performance touched a lot of people that night.
    Much love, looking forward to doing more work with you

  2. Even if a performance wasn't as special for you as it might have been that doesn't mean it wasn't special for other people, you know. I bet it was special for lots of them (and 900 people…that's a lot of special). It is good to be a perfectionist but…sometimes it's the imperfect that is good too. I still remember seeing you in the now-long-gone Leeds Duchess…probably nearly 20 years ago! Must have been special to have remembered it all this time…especially considering all the hammering my brain cells have taken…

  3. I was at the gig on Saturday and was delighted by your performance and was only sad we didn't see more of you! PLEASE do lots more collaboration with Shlo. You are both magnificent.

  4. I was at the gig on Saturday and was delighted by your performance and was only sad we didn't see more of you! PLEASE do lots more collaboration with Shlo. You are both magnificent.

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