“Let me get it right, what if we got it wrong/what if we weakened ourselves getting strong/what if we found in the ground a vial of proof/what if the foundations missed a vital truth”
On Monday Tuesday and Wednesday this week I was at South bank Centre on the River Thames across from the Embankment on the South side. The Artists in residence are based in The Riverside Rooms just to the right of Waterloo Bridge as you cross. I biked it from hackney in the morning and returned home in the Christmas darkness of late afternoon with my bike light reflecting off the canal like a kite tail.
Throughout the three days I’ve been finding music and poetry with Gary Crosby on double bass and Peter on piano in The Spirit Level, a series of venues and rehearsal/workshop rooms beneath The Royal Festival Hall. It's been a blast. On Tuesday Gary left for Parlaiment which is just across the Thames. He was invited by Rob Blizzard the labour party chief whip who once worked for the musicians union in Manchester. It was drinks for movers and shakers in music, with a particular angle.
He returned the next day with a CD from Reprieve who were also there. The CD is a compilation of music played by the Americans to the Guantanamo Bay detainees: Music as torture, everything from White trash by Eminem to We are The Champions by Queen. It had a quote written upon it by Benyam Mohamed the Ethiopiain British resident who is still illegally incarcerated and who suffered torture at the hands of the American government.
On another matter but relevant to this week i was asked a few months ago to write a poem about Darwin as it is the 20th anniversary of his birth on Feb 12th next year. I linked Darwin with the theme of Climate Change connecting to my recent sojourn to The Arctic and wrote a poem called What if . The piece is to be filmed for The Channel Four TV Series, three minute wonder. So on the hoof we put the poem to music and it’s worked. If all goes well we’ll be filming it next week.
“From Butterfly wings to the hurricane/It’s the small things that make great change/The question towards the end of the lease is/no longer the origin but the end of species”