Richard Bowers and the Sound of Aircraft Attacking Britain.

Sunlight & Dirt: Fourteen self portraits.

More information:

Richard Bowers saab@richardbowers.co.uk

Venue:

Tactile Lounge, Capitol Centre, Cardiff.

4th - 22nd November 2019.

LIVE PERFORMANCE 19TH NOVEMEMBER w/ Ian Watson and Jon Ruddick.

GOAT SONG.

GOAT SONG

TRAGEDY

SHE SENT SIX NOTES OF UNIQUE DURATION

LET ME EXPLAIN

SIX BARS OF MONOPHONIC MUSIC

NOTES SELECTED BY SOME METHOD

TOO LONG AGO TO REMEMBER

LET EACH BAR ...

EACH BAR SHALL BE OF SPECIFIC DURATION

TWO BEATS, THREE BEATS, FIVE, SEVEN, ELEVEN, THIRTEEN BEATS

THESE ARE PRIME NUMBERS

A PRIME NUMBER

DIVISIBLE BY NO WHOLE NUMBER OTHER THAN ITSELF OR ONE TO FORM ANOTHER WHOLE NUMBER

LET EACH BAR CONTAIN A SINGLE PITCH

OR, PERHAPS, A SINGLE PITCH ORNAMENTED

LET EACH BAR BE PLACED AT RANDOM IN RELATION TO THE OTHERS

THIS RANDOM ORDER

SELECTED - AT RANDOM - FROM A BOOK

A BOOK OF SEQUENCES

MADE BY MYSELF ON THE FIFTEENTH OF JULY, 1992

THE DATE IS ON THE FRONT PAGE

TODAY IS THE TENTH OF JULY, 2018

MAKING IT ALMOST EXACTLY 26 YEARS AGO

MADE BY HAND

MADE BY TYPING EVERY POSSIBLE SEQUENCE OF THE LETTERS A, B, C, D, E, AND F

THE ACTION OF TYPING BEING MUSICAL

A KEYBOARD SKILL

PIANISTIC

RHYTHMIC

REPETITION WITH VARIATIONS

A B C D E F

B A C D E F

A C B D E F

EVERY POSSIBLE ORDERING OF THOSE LETTERS

F A B E D C

A BOOK

TO BE USED AS A TEMPLATE

A TEMPLATE FOR A WORK MADE ALMOST THIRTY YEARS LATER

WHERE EACH BAR

AND THERE ARE SIX, REMEMBER, FOR EACH SEGMENT LASTING FORTY-ONE SECONDS

OR THEREABOUTS

SIX BARS OF 2, 3, 5, 7, 11 AND 13 BEATS

AT ONE BEAT PER SECOND

ONE PITCH PER BAR

ONE DOMINANT NOTE WITH SUBSIDIARY NOTES

ORNAMENTED

THESE NOTES ARE FROM A SCALE OR MODE

A SELECTION OF PITCHES

ARRIVED AT THROUGH A METHOD I CAN'T RECALL

SPREADING THROUGH A CLARINET'S RANGE

FROM LOW TO HIGH

HER BREATH

SETTING MATTER IN MOTION

VIBRATING THE AIR

RADIATING NOISE INTO THE SPACE AROUND ME

AT SPECIFIC FREQUENCIES

SPECIFIC FREQUENCIES OVERLAID WITH TINY SOUNDS

DROPLETS

THESE SIX HUMBLE PITCHES SPAWN SOMETHING ELABORATE

SOMETHING RICHER

IN THE END

TWENTY-EIGHT UNIQUE COMBINATIONS OF PITCH AND DURATION

A SCORE

EACH PAGE LASTING AROUND FORTY-ONE SECONDS

TWENTY EIGHT PAGES

AND ON EACH PAGE SHALL BE WRITTEN

IN PENCIL AND IN HASTE

THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR PERFORMING TRANSFORMATIONS

MUTILATIONS

SUSPENDING TIME

WORDS LIKE

"PLAY TO THE END OF BAR THREE"

"FREEZE"

"LOOP BARS THREE AND FIVE"

"WITHDRAW TIME-POINT TO THREE THOUSAND MILLISECONDS"

"SLOWLY FADE BAR THREE WHEN SIX IS INAUDIBLE"

AND SO ON

ACROSS TWENTY-EIGHT PAGES

I SEND

I CAST OUT

SIX SOUNDS

NATURAL

A MELODY OF SORTS

BUT A MELODY TRAPPED IN MID FLIGHT

LIKE A FROZEN ECHO

GRAINS OF TIME SUSPENDED IN A VALLEY

SINGING THE TRAGIC SONG

THE GOAT SONG

THE FORWARD MOTION OF MY SONG ECHOED BACK

FROZEN HIGH ABOVE THE VALLEY

LOCKED AND SUSPENDED

THE MELODY FROZEN

THE SOUND, THE SPECTRUM, CHOKED

HOWEVER

ALL OF THIS POETRY IS A MASK

JUSTIFICATION FOR A METHOD

A METHOD AT ONCE EFFECTIVE AND EXPEDIENT

THAT CREATED MUCH MATERIAL

MUSIC OF UNCERTAIN BEAUTY

MOVING STEALTHILY BETWEEN DISSONANCE AND CONSONANCE

AS MUSIC DOES

A SORDID POLYPHONY

BUT THESE DURATIONS

THESE TWENTY-EIGHT UNIQUE CONFIGURATIONS

DERIVED FROM THE PRIME NUMBER SERIES

DIFFERENT DURATIONS

CAN EXPAND

FROM SECONDS TO MINUTES

LET'S MAKE IT EASY

FROM FORTY-ONE SECONDS TO AS MANY MINUTES

FOURTEEN PAGES (NOT TWENTY-EIGHT AS YOU'D EXPECT)

HALF THE NUMBER, FOR SOME REASON

FOR REASONS OF MANAGEABILITY, PERHAPS?

OF SCALE

AND THESE CONFIGURATIONS OF BAR LENGTH

SCALED UP TO A LARGER DURATION

SIX-TIMES-FOURTEEN SECTIONS AS CONTAINERS

FOR THE FOURTEEN SELF-PORTRAITS

CONTAINERS FOR MY WORK SPANNING OVER THIRTY YEARS

THIRTY YEARS AGO

ALMOST

THE CREATION OF A BOOK OF UNIQUE CONFIGURATIONS OF THE ALPHABET FROM A TO F

A BOOK THAT MADE SO MUCH POSSIBLE

THAT GAVE STRUCTURE

A SCAFFOLD

ON WHICH TO PLACE THE WORK

TRICOLOUR.

NUMBERS AGAIN

ALWAYS NUMBERS

THIS TIME A SINGLE NUMBER

THREE

A NUMBER AT ONCE PRACTICAL AND MYSTICAL

A MAGIC NUMBER

THE TRINITY

THE TRICOLOUR

THE SMALLEST CROWD

THREE HOURS THREE TIMES

THREE SOUND WORLDS

THREE SHADES OF THREE COLOURS

THREE MODALITIES: SOUND, VISION, WORD

EACH HOUR DIVIDED INTO THREE PERIODS OF ACTIVITY

THE TRICOLOUR

THREE STRIPES OF SLOWLY CHANGING COLOURS

LAND, SEA AND AIR

A FLAG THAT DEFIES DEFINITION

AN ELUSIVE FLAG

A FLAG OF AN UNKNOWN COUNTRY

TRUTH 24 TIMES A SECOND.

I WAS THOROUGH

EACH FRAME

EACH TINY PAGE

STRUNG TOGETHER

A FLICKERBOOK

THERE WERE TWENTY-FOUR FOR EACH SECOND

ANOTHER NUMBER – ONE OVER TWENTY-FOUR

THAT'S APPROXIMATELY ONE IMAGE EVERY 0.04 SECONDS

PERSISTENCE OF VISION MAKES US SEE DISCRETE PICTURES AS CONTINUOUS MOTION

WHEN THEY ARE STRUNG TOGETHER THAT FAST

A STRING OF PEARLS

BUT THESE SHORT MOMENTS OF TRUTH

CAN BE FALSE

CAN BE FILLED

IN THE INTERVALS

WITH MOMENTS OF FICTION

VISUAL FICTION

AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I DID

I FILLED THE GAPS WITH FICTION

INTERPOLATIONS BETWEEN SUCCESSIVE FRAMES

SO THAT A FILMED MOMENT LASTING AROUND TWO SECONDS

WAS PROLONGED TO SIX MINUTES AND FORTY SECONDS

THIS SINGLE GESTURE

A WOMAN TURNING HER BACK ON US

A CHOREOGRAPHY OF LIGHT AND SHADE

SWINGING ENDLESSLY

LIKE A PENDULUM

BUT WITHOUT REGULARITY

A BROKEN CLOCK

OF LANDSCAPES OR, PERHAPS, PROCESSION.

AS A CHILD

TRYING TO SLEEP IN AN UNFAMILIAR BED

SUNSET

HORIZON

HORIZON MARKED WITH SILHOUETTES

ROADWORKING MACHINERY

GHOSTS OF MEN WORKING ON A ROAD THAT STRETCHED ALONG THE HORIZON

ALONG A RIDGE

A SCENE AT THE FOOT OF MY BED

THROUGH A WINDOW

A CINEMA SCREEN

MASKING THE LAWN BENEATH ME

THE SKY ABOVE

GARDENS TO LEFT AND RIGHT

A FIXED VIEWPORT AT THE FOOT OF MY BED

A VIEW OF A DEPARTING SUN

ACCOMPANIED BY THE SOUND OF ROADWORKS

MACHINERY CLANKING LONG INTO THAT EVENING IN SURREY

THAT IS WHY I MADE OF LANDSCAPES

OR PROCESSION, MAYBE

AND AT THAT HOUSE IN SURREY

THE SNAKE OF STUFFED CLOTH TERRIFIED ME

AND THE RACK OF PIPES HE'D SMOKE FROM

OBOE FROM 1994 TO 2018.

ORIGINALLY A FLUTE WOULD SOUND THIS OUT

BUT IT BECAME MUSIC FOR AN OBOE

THE FLUTTERINGS OF A CHILD FORMING IN THE MOTHER'S WOMB

A WHISPER AT FIRST

FILLING OUT OVER TIME

BECOMING DEFIANT AND INSISTENT

MY SON

MY DAUGHTER

TODAY, TWENTY-FIVE YEARS LATER

I REVISIT ITS TIME OF GESTATION

I DISSECT IT

EXAMINE ITS PARTS

THOSE PARTS THAT WOULD BE FORMED SLOWLY OVER A WEEKEND

A WEEKEND OF WAITING

BUILDING ITSELF SILENTLY UNTIL SOUNDING OUT

RECONSTITUTED INGREDIENTS IN SEVEN OR EIGHT SECTIONS

A CLOSER EXAMINATION

AND I FEEL NOW THAT WE SHOULD HEAR A FLUTE

I SHALL INTRODUCE A FLUTE

BLOW UP.

RECORD NOISES OF STREETS, COUNTRY LANES, CAFES, ALLEYWAYS

RECORD SUBWAYS AND RAILWAY STATIONS

SHOPS

DO IT HERE, CARDIFF, AND THERE, SHANGHAI

CHATTER OF MARKETPLACE

ROADWORKS

SCAFFOLD POLES MADE FROM BAMBOO

THE DRUMMING FROM A PROTEST MARCH

OR WERE THEY ENTERTAINERS?

JUST ANOTHER CITY

KEPT AT A DISTANCE BY AN INSCRUTABLE LANGUAGE

FILTER THESE SOUNDS UNTIL THEY RESONATE AT FIXED PITCHES

MOVE INTO AND AWAY FROM THIS SONIC CONSTRICTION

BACK OUT TO THE FLAT, UNDIFFERENTIATED CACOPHONY

THEN RETURN TO THE INSISTENCE OF THE PITCHED NOISE

THE NOISE BECOMES HORIZONTAL LIKE A RHYTHM COLLAPSING

THEN THE VERTICAL RETURNS, ALL FREQUENCIES COMPETING

AND NOW DO IT WITH SPEECH

TURN SPEECH INTO SONG

THAT HAPPENED BRIEFLY IN TRICOLOUR

BUT I SHALL MAKE MORE OF THAT ELSEWHERE

VELVET LANTERN.

TAKE THE PEOPLE OUT OF THE FRAME

FIND THOSE MOMENTS

WITH OR WITHOUT MOTION

WHERE THE PEOPLE HAVE DEPARTED

OR ARE ABOUT TO ENTER

WHERE THE FRAMED SPACE IS A BEGINNING

WHERE WE CAN PAY ATTENTION TO ITS DETAILS

WHERE IT IS ALL POTENTIAL

WHERE IT IS ALLOWED TO SPEAK WITHOUT THE DISTRACTION OF ACTORS

THESE LARGE, SWEATING UNNATURAL FACES

I PARTICULARLY LIKED MOMENTS OF ENDLESS REPETITION

SWINGING DOOR

A WINDMILL'S SAILS TURNING SPASMODICALLY

MOMENTS THAT FELT MELANCHOLIC

LIKE SPACE TRAPPED WITHIN ITSELF, WAITING FOR AN ACTOR TO FREE IT

BY PENETRATING THE SPACE AND CREATING A TEMPORAL FLOW

A PAPER BAG, FILLED WITH WATER, PUNCTURED BY A FINGER

WHICH DIDN'T HAPPEN, OF COURSE

WE WERE TRAPPED WITHIN 131 SPACES

FREE TO INHABIT THEM WITH OUR OWN STORIES

AND WE CAN BE TRAPPED IN THIS SPACE

A SPACE IN WHICH TO MAKE THE WORK AND ABSORB THE WORK

NARRATING.

READ THE POEMS AND THE COMMENTARIES

READ THEM MANY TIMES

OUT LOUD

GET OTHERS TO READ THEM

DIFFERENT REGISTERS

FROM THE MOUTHS OF DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES

NOT TOO MANY

TWO OR THREE OTHERS

TO TAKE ME OUT OF THE PICTURE SOMEWHAT

OR TO ALLOW ME TO INHABIT ANOTHER BODY

TO CREATE A POLYPHONY

MIXED VOICES

MOVING IN AND OUT OF SYNCHRONY

A COMMENTARY

A POEM

REFERRING BACK TO THE WORK

ALWAYS GO BACK TO THE SOURCE

AND, AGAIN, TURN SPEECH INTO SONG

FOURTEEN SELF-PORTRAITS.

A CATALOGUE OF MY WORK OF SOME THIRTY YEARS

EVERYTHING BROUGHT TO A HEAD

IN FOURTEEN SECTIONS LASTING FORTY-ONE MINUTES EACH

AND EACH SECTION COMPRISING SIX SUB-SECTIONS

OF 2, 3, 5, 7, 11 AND 13 MINUTES

REMEMBER THOSE NUMBERS?

THEY SHAPED THE DURATIONS IN EACH GOAT SONG

ARRANGED AT RANDOM

UNIQUELY

AN ALARM

A COR ANGLAIS TRANSPOSED DOWN TWO OR THREE OCTAVES

ANNOUNCES EACH SECTION

A FOGHORN TO GUIDE THE SHIP TO SAFETY

A LISTENING SCORE

GUIDES YOU

VIRGIL LEADING THE POET DANTE THROUGH HELL, PURGATORY AND PARADISE

AN EXPLANATION AND A PROTECTION

AN AMBITIOUS UNDERTAKING

FOR ANOTHER TIME, PERHAPS

HERE TIME BECOMES SPACE.

THE STRUCTURING OF THIS AND THE OTHER THIRTEEN PIECES IS BASED ON THE FIRST SIX MEMBERS OF THE PRIME NUMBER SERIES

I'VE EXPLAINED THIS ELSEWHERE

I CONSIDER THEM TO BE USEFUL NUMBERS

MAGICAL, PERHAPS

I APPLY THEM TO TINY, SMALL AND LARGE TIME-SCALES

THEY DETERMINE PATTERNS OF ECHO

PATTERNS OF DELAY

PHRASES

SUB-SECTIONS

THESE ARE TEMPORAL APPLICATIONS

HORIZONTAL

IN A METAPHORICAL SENSE

THESE VALUES

EXPRESSED AS THE SMALLEST UNITS OF TIME

RESULT IN A PATTERN OF REVERBERATION

IMAGINARY SPACE

AT A SLOWER RATE THESE NUMBERS CREATE TEXTURE

SLOWER STILL PRODUCES RHYTHM

AND, OF COURSE, THERE IS A CONTINUUM THAT FLOWS BETWEEN THESE STATES

BUT AT THE SMALLEST TEMPORAL INTERVALS

THEY INFLUENCE THE VERTICAL

PITCH AND HARMONY

THE SPECTRUM

HERE TIME BECOMES SPACE

ACOUSTIC SPACE

PROGRAMMING AS COMPOSITION.

WHEN A WORK IS FORMING, IT DOES SO HEURISTICALLY

IT IS AN ACT OF RESEARCH

A SEARCH

APPROACHED SPASMODICALLY

SOMETIMES TENTATIVELY

SOMETIMES WITH URGENCY, AS IF TO GRASP THE IDEA BEFORE IT FLEES

SOMETIMES IT IS APPROACHED MUNDANELY LIKE A ROUTINE IN A FACTORY

AND BUILDING THE ROUTINES, THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT GUIDE THE NOISE THROUGH THE MACHINE

IS THE SAME AS WRITING A SCORE

IT IS COMPOSING

AND THERE'S NO END TO IT

ART IS A LENS.

WE FIND BEAUTY IN THE UNINTENDED THINGS

THE CORNERS, THE JUNK, THE FLAKING PAINT, THE STAINS ON SUN-BLEACHED FABRICS

WE RESIST A FORMALITY THAT SHOWS THINGS IN THEIR BEST LIGHT, UNCONTAMINATED

WE CONTAMINATE AND EXPOSE THE HIDDEN, DIRTY CORNERS

THE OCEANS OF PAPER, PLASTIC AND METAL DEPOSITED AS WAYMARKERS ALONG THE TEDIOUS COUNTRY LANES

BLOWN INTO THE URINE-WASHED BACK ALLEYS

WE STUMBLE ACROSS THE ACCUMULATED WASTE

WE PHOTOGRAPH IT

WE HEAR THE CACOPHONY AND RECORD IT

HEARING STORIES EMERGING FROM THE CHAOS OF UNDIFFERENTIATED NOISE

WE READ THE INDELIBLE SCRAWLS IN CAR PARK STAIRWELLS

THE LUMINOUS SURFACES COLLIDE AND POLLUTE EACH OTHER

AND WE LOVE THIS

WE LOVE IT

WE FROLIC IN PASTURES OF DETRITUS

IT'S AMAZING HOW, SEEN THROUGH THE CORRECT LENS, THE UGLIEST OF THINGS BECOMES BEAUTIFUL

REFOCUSING IMAGES THAT WERE HITHERTO HIDEOUS, BLURRED IMPRESSIONS

ART IS THAT LENS

CINEMA'S SHAMEFUL ACT.

I USED TO THINK THAT THE CUT, BEING CINEMA'S EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY

ITS DARK MAGIC

A SPATIAL RUPTURE OFFENDING NATURE

WAS ITS PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT

WHEN EDWIN PORTER DECIDED TO SAVE MONEY BY FILMING ACTORS SEPARATELY

BRINGING THEM FACE-TO-FACE ACROSS A GULF OF SPACE AND TIME

A GRAMMAR WAS BORN

YET CINEMA IS AT GREAT PAINS TO HIDE THIS BRUTAL ACT

THE RENDING OF NATURE

USING A VARIETY OF MEANS – NOT LEAST SOUND – TO PAPER OVER THE CRACKS

IS CINEMA SO ASHAMED OF ITS BLACK SHEEP THAT IT PAINTS THEM SO WHITE?

YET THE CUT IS THE ONE TECHNIQUE THAT GIVES CINEMA ITS UNIQUE VOICE

THROUGH THE CUT WE ARE KEPT AWAKE

LEAVING US TIRED AND IRRITABLE

COMPOSING – FEELING GOOD ABOUT THE BAD.

I COMPOSE

I PUT THINGS TOGETHER

I ENGENDER FORMS THROUGH A SYSTEM

DIFFERENT ON EACH OCCASION

THE SYSTEM IS PART PRISON, PART PLAYGROUND

THE RULES ARE MADE TO BE FOLLOWED AND BROKEN, RECKLESSLY AT TIMES

BUT ONCE BROKEN THEY COME BACK AS DIFFERENT RULES

THE RULES THAT THREATEN TO EXPOSE MY LACK OF BREEDING

A LACK OF TRAINING AND DISCIPLINE

BUT I USE THEM ALL THE SAME

AND I BREAK THEM

SOMETIMES I FEEL TRAPPED BY THE RULES I SET FOR MYSELF

I SOMETIMES REGRET THEM

BUT MORE OFTEN THAN NOT I'LL FOLLOW THEM LIKE A DOG PULLED BY A CHAIN I MYSELF HAD FORGED

BUT THE RULES CAN ALSO HELP ME MAKE THE WORK BADLY

RULES THAT GUIDE ME AWAY FROM GOOD TASTE

FROM BREEDING

AND A BAD WORK IS A STIMULUS, AND A BEGINNING

GOOD WORKS ARE MERELY GOOD, AND ARE ENDINGS

THE MACHINE THAT DOES THE THINKING.

THE ALLURE

A PERNICIOUS SEDUCTION

MY EYE GRIPPED TO THE SCENE

MOVED LIKE A JOYSTICK

THE VOICES AND EXQUISITE SOUNDS

THOSE LARGE, SWEATING, UNNATURAL FACES

THEY CONSPIRE AGAINST ME

PUT ME TO SLEEP

A WAKING SLEEP OR A REAL SLEEP, IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE

I'M ENCOURAGED TO STOP THINKING

TO GAZE UNCRITICALLY

WE LAUGH WHEN THEY LAUGH

WE STARE DUMBSTRUCK

LIKE CHILDREN AT A PUNCH AND JUDY SHOW

WE HAVE BEEN TAKEN OVER

AND WE THINK IT'S NATURAL

DON'T LOOK OUT!

THIS IS AN INTROSPECTIVE WORK

IT LOOKS INTO ITS OWN METHODS OF CONSTRUCTION

ITS OWN CONCERNS AND INTENTIONS

IT LOOKS AT THE CULTURAL PREJUDICES OF ITS CREATOR

HIS BIASES, HIS INTERESTS, TASTES, FAILINGS, STRENGTHS

THEREFORE, IT CAN BE CONSIDERED A SELF-PORTRAIT AND NOTHING MORE

HOLDING YOUR ATTENTION.

HERE ARE 574 MINUTES THROUGH WHICH THE LISTENER'S, THE VIEWER'S, ATTENTION MUST BE HELD

FOCUSED, MORE OR LESS, ON THE WORK IN FRONT OF YOU

AND AMONGST THAT ARE LONG PERIODS OF RELATIVELY UNCHANGING ACTIVITY

GRINDING

SOUNDS SUSPENDED

A SOPORIFIC DRONING

BUT WE CAN GAZE AT THE SEA, THE SKY, A BROAD EXPANSE OF CONCRETE OR STEEL

INDEFINITELY

NEVERTHELESS

I FEEL COMPELLED TO ASSIST WITH THE TASK OF ATTENDING

I KNOW THAT WORDS ARE THE HAIRS IN THE MUSICAL SOUP

FLIES IN THE OINTMENT

HARD TO IGNORE

THEY SHIFT THE FOCUS

THEY RAISE THEMSELVES ABOVE THE PARAPET

HORRIBLY PREGNANT

SPAWNING A TAPESTRY OF ASSOCIATIONS

FORCING A DIFFERENT LEVEL OF ATTENTIVENESS

NO LONGER ANIMAL, INSTINCTUAL

BUT INTELLECTUAL

LANGUAGE

DIVISIVE

I AM USING WORDS TO HOLD YOU

HOLD YOU CLOSE

WHILE THE SOUND

AND TIME

SLIP PAST YOU

ANOTHER METHOD

THE IMAGES HOLD YOU

ANOTHER TEMPORAL FLOW

CHANGING YOUR PERCEPTION OF TIME PASSING

THE TYRANNY OF THE IMAGE

I CONSIDERED CREATING A LISTENING GUIDE

A SCORE TO HOLD YOU

TO FIX YOUR ATTENTION

TO CHANGE HOW YOU APPREHEND THE WORK

PERHAPS AS YOU HEAR OR READ THESE WORDS

IT IS FROM A GUIDE SUCH AS THAT

THUNDER AND LORRIES.

FROM A ROOFTOP STRETCHING AWAY FROM WINDOW OF OFFICE ONE AFTERNOON IN AROUND 1998 TO 2000 I HEARD

AND RECORDED

A THUNDERSTORM (THAT WAS ON ONE OCCASION - PROBABLY A SATURDAY OR SUNDAY)

AND THE SOUND OF PROTEST

ALARUM OF HORNS FROM A CONVOY OF LORRIES

I HAVE LOST THIS LATTER RECORDING

I WANT IT BACK BECAUSE IT HAD A MUSICAL QUALITY THAT WAS ROOTED IN NECCESSITY

MUSIC BORNE OUT OF NECESSITY

AS MARTIAL MUSIC IS

DIE NIBELUNGEN.

GEOMETRY OF PASSIONS

NATURE AND CIVILISATION – DESCENT INTO VIOLENCE AND CHAOS

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT?

THAT ONE TINY LEAF COULD CAUSE SO MUCH DESTRUCTION

HONOUR, LOYALTY, REVENGE

SURFEIT OF GOLD

REVENGE MADE VISIBLE THROUGH THE FLAMES

'BRING ME THE HEAD OF ...'
GAWAIN OR THE GREEN KNIGHT
JOHN THE BAPTIST
HOLOFERNES
HAGEN TRONJE

BRING ME GRENDEL'S HEAD AND ARM

THESE MUTILATIONS

THE DARKEST TROPHIES

TROPHIES OF THIS DESCENT INTO VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION

TWILIGHT OF GODS

OF MEN

COLD GEOMETRY

ACCENTUATING BLOOD IN THE SNOW

THE SOIL, SOAKED IN BLOOD

IN BLACK AND WHITE SOIL AND BLOOD ARE THE SAME COLOUR

A FILTHY MEMENTO

OF MOTHERLAND

OF LOVE, CRUSHED BY BLIND LOYALTY

THESE STILL AND SILENT IMAGES HELD MY FASCINATION

AND WHEN SEEN IN A BOOK, ENDURE

IN A FILM, THEY PASS AWAY TOO SWIFTLY

THEREFORE FILMS SHOULD BE LIKE BOOKS

PAGES OF BOOKS MAY BE TURNED BACK AS WELL AS FORWARD

THAT IS WHY I MADE THE VELVET LANTERN

LOOPS AND PALINDROMES

RANDOM SELECTIONS

SPACE EXTENDED AND CHANGED DYNAMICALLY

MASKING A BADLY PLANNED PERFORMANCE

NOCTURNE.

A REEL-TO-REEL TAPE MACHINE CAPTURED A SLOW DIMINUENDO

A SLOW FADE

WITH THESE EVOCATIONS: A VIEW FROM THE FIRST FLOOR

THROUGH GAP BETWEEN HOUSES AND OVER SUBURBAN GARDENS

GENTLE HILLS

BLUE IN THE DISTANCE

AND LATER A MELANCHOLY GLOW OF SUNSET

LIKE SULPHUR

I TALK OF THIS ELSEWHERE

ANOTHER PLACE

BLOW UP.

MESMERISING BANALITY

TEXTURES SIGNIFYING NOTHING

DETAILS, DETAILING THE BEST ON OFFER

BALANCE BETWEEN TWO INSTANCES OF THE BANAL

MERGING TO YIELD UP TWO OR THREE NEW TEXTURES

GROUNDPLAN OF IGNORED AND TRAMMELLED SURFACES

BANALITY AMELIORATED BY THE HYPNOTIC EVOLUTION OF THE IMAGES

PHOTOGRAPHS ARE SOUNDS IN TWO DIMENSIONS

SOUNDS EVOLVE LIKE IMAGES IN MOVIES

A SOUND, WITHOUT FURY, SIGNIFYING NOTHING

THAT WAS ONE INCARNATION OF BLOW UP

ANOTHER WAS A READING OF THE FILM

SCRUTINISING ITS AUDITORY AND VISUAL DETAILS

IN CLOSE UP

BLOWN UP

MAINTAINING CONTINUAL MOTION THROUGH ANTONIONI'S FILM

RELOCATING DIALOGUE

CREATING SHIFTS IN TIME AND SPACE

LIKE THE PROTAGONIST PEERING THROUGH A LENS, THROUGH A WINDOW INTO THE PAST

HEARING THE PAST FROM ANOTHER PLACE

ANTONIONI PROVIDED THE CANVAS AND PAINTS

GODARD'S INFLUENCE.

IT STARTED WITH CARS ON FIRE

IN COMICAL ARRANGEMENTS

BLACK COMEDY

INTERMINABLE TRAFFIC JAM WITH COMEDY SET PIECES

AND THOSE POLITICAL POSTERS: FARMER, MECHANIC, BOURGEOIS, GARBAGE COLLECTORS, RICH KIDS, POET, MESSIAH

VIOLENT INTERRUPTIONS

AT THE EARLIER END OF THE DECADE

SIMILAR RUPTURES AND SIMILAR LONGEURS

SIGNATURE STYLE

CAR WRECKAGE

BRUTALLY TRUNCATED PASSAGES OF MUSIC

AND FAKE BLOOD

ALL YOU NEED IS A GIRL AND A CAR

I PRODUCED A SHORT PIECE - UNTITLED - WITH AGGRESSIVE CUTS BETWEEN TWO SOUND SOURCES

A CINEMATIC APPROACH TO SOUND

PERHAPS I SHALL USE IT HERE

ORPHEUS IN PARIS.

THE POETRY, OF COURSE

ENIGMATIC SIGNALS FROM ACROSS THE RIVER

BLURTED OUT ON A CAR RADIO

THICK WITH THE SMOKE OF FACTORY CHIMNEYS AND OBSCURED BY TREES

IN THE MANNER OF A WARTIME PROPAGANDA BROADCAST

ABANDON HOPE

CROSSING OVER

THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL DETERMINED BY A FAST MOVING TAPE REEL

UNRAVELLING RELENTLESSLY

SPINNING LIKE THE CAR'S WHEELS

THE PLUCKED STRINGS DENOTE ORPHEUS

CHARMING THE BEASTS

AND LIKE BEASTS, WE FOLLOW HIM THROUGH THE RECTANGLE OF SHADOWS INTO HADES

NEVER LOOKING BACK

BECAUSE IF WE FORGET THE PAST, WE SHALL BE FREE

TO REPEAT IT

AND THOSE SHADOWS

MIRROR OF BURNISHED MERCURY

ARE A POISON KEEPING OUR MINDS ENSLAVED TO A PAST WE MUST REVISIT

TIME WITHOUT NUMBER

THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC.

THAT BOYISH FACE

WEEPING AND SMILING AGAINST BACKDROP OF CREAMY PLASTER

I SAT IMPASSIVELY THROUGHOUT WHILE MY FRIEND WEPT

SHE, LIKE 'NANA' PLAYED BY ANNA KARINA IN VIVRE SA VIE

A LENS TRAINED ON A DETAIL, ONE DETAIL

THE MARTYR'S FACE

AN ACTOR'S FACE, IN FACT

TREMBLING

FAINTING

CARICATURE OF EMOTIONS

FROM A WOMAN WHOSE PERSONAL PASSION WAS THE MENTAL ILLNESS THAT PLAGUED HER LIFE

THE FILM, FOR ALL ITS AWKWARDNESS

IS A THING ALL OF ITS OWN

UNREPEATABLE

PLACED UPON A PEDESTAL

PRECISELY FOR THE DISTINCTION OF STANDING ALONE

MY PIECE, TRICOLOUR, OF WHICH WE HEAR FRAGMENTS

IS NOT A SOUNDTRACK

THE FILM NEEDS NO SOUNDTRACK

WHAT I MADE WAS A FLAG THAT CHANGED OVER NINE HOURS

AND ALL I COULD DO WITH THE FILM WAS WRITE OUT SEGMENTS OF THE SCRIPT

THERE WAS NO NEED TO SHOW THE FILM

IT HAS ONLY ONE IMAGE THROUGHOUT

AND YOU CAN FIND THAT IN A BOOK

MOVING IMAGES ARE A CHEAP TRICK (SEE ELSEWHERE)

WHEREAS PAINTINGS WILL ALWAYS HOLD THEIR POWER

FILMS DILUTE THEMSELVES BY NOT STAYING STILL FOR A MOMENT

LIKE RESTLESS CHILDREN

EXPLORING BUT NEVER SETTLING DOWN TO ANYTHING

A SOUND AND A FURY

EARTH SPIRITS.

STOLEN FROM A BAR - VOLUME 5 OF WEDEKIND'S COMPLETE WORKS

ERDGEIST

EARTH SPIRIT

PRINTED IN OLD GERMAN SCRIPT

ILLEGIBLE IN TWO WAYS, FOR ME AT LEAST

THE TYPEFACE AND THE LANGUAGE

BUT FROM ITS PAGES

TWO FINE WORKS

A FILM AND AN OPERA CONTAINING A FILM

THE DUST OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY BLOWN INTO OUR UNBLINKING EYES

OUR EARS UNBLOCKED

MAKING US DESPISE AN ART FORM CONSTRUCTED FROM BASTARDISED MEDIA

INADEQUATE THEATRE – ALMOST PANTOMIME

BAD DANCING

MUSIC NEITHER SERVING - NOR SERVED BY - THE DRAMA

SPECTACLE

REFORGED BY SIEGFRIED'S HAMMER INTO ART

OR NEARLY

BUT CINEMA GOT CLOSER

SO FILM GETS HAMMERED INTO PLACE

FORCED INTO THE CIRCUS DEAD CENTRE

A PALINDROME IN A MENAGERIE OF PERFORMING ANIMALS

DESCENDING INTO POVERTY AND HUNGER

ONLY TO DIE AT THE HANDS OF JACK THE RIPPER

WHO, HIDING A DIRTY KNIFE IN A CARRIER BAG, PUTS AN END TO THE ABSURD SPECTACLE

'WE DON'T NEED A LAMP, THE MOON IS SHINING'

YET WE STILL ADMIRE THE TAWDRY SETS, THE FAT PEOPLE IN GREASEPAINT SINGING BEL CANTO

LIKE CLOWNS IN A CIRCUS

A DISGUSTING PARADE OF MIDDLE-CLASS EXCESS

CLAMBERING THROUGH A JUNKYARD OF BORROWED SENTIMENTS

BORROWED FROM A PEDDLER OF SECOND-HAND LITERARY FILTH

THE ROOM.

THE HOUSE, RADIATED FROM THIS ROOM

INTO THE ROOFSPACE

OUT OVER SUBURBAN GARDENS

SULPHUROUS LIGHT

A SPACE FOR RECREATION

INCUBATOR FOR EXPERIMENTS IN SOUND AND VISION

A SOCIAL SPACE ALSO

A PIANO

FEELING CLUMSY HANDS COERCE DISCORDANCE FROM ITS INNARDS

BEFORE ITS DEPARTURE TO THE TROPICS

OR SOMEWHERE MORE PROSAIC

THE TAPE LOOPS AND DRIED FLOWERS

THE GRUNDIG OPEN REEL TAPE RECORDER WITH MICROPHONE

DONATED (REST IN PEACE ANDREW MESSAM) AND STOLEN EQUIPMENT

AND SOME PURCHASED

THE HEADPHONES WRAPPED AROUND A CHEAP ACOUSTIC GUITAR

A MAKESHIFT PICKUP

I GAVE HER A BEAR HUG AND SHE FAINTED

SHE, WHOM I'D SKETCHED NAKED IN THE ATTIC

IN HASTE

A FACE COMPOSED OF BREASTS FOR EYES, NAVEL FOR MOUTH

LIKE MAGRITTE

STRUCK HEAD AGAINST DOORFRAME

THE FOUNDATIONSOF THAT EXTRA ROOM

DUG BY HAND

FATHER AND SON

CUTTING THROUGH DENSE GREY CLAY

THE EXTERIOR WALL NOW INSIDE, BRICKWORK WHITENED

THE SMALL BRICKED-UP WINDOW CAVITY, SHELVED, DISPLAYING A GREEN NAUTICAL BEAKER

MISERABLE RED SPOTLIGHT, AND TWO OTHER SPOTLIGHTS

LIGHTING UP EVENINGS OF LISTENING AND PLAYING

AN OPEN-ENDED CUBE SEALED OFF BY GLASS AND FABRIC

THE SPACE SHIFTING BETWEEN BOXED-OFF AND OPEN-ENDED WITH DOUBLE VIEWPORT

A TIME TUNNEL

I PRACTISED DANCING IN THERE

AND SINGING

SURROUNDED BY METAL WINDOW FRAMES AND FIRE-RETARDENT FABRICS IN BROWN, ORANGE AND CREAM

UNCOMFORTABLE 1970s SEATING

PARQUET FLOORING GLUED PERMANENTLY TO CONCRETE

VARNISHED OVER WITH POLYEURETHANE GLOSS

BROWN MIRROR REFLECTING THE SKY THAT SETTLED OVER A GARDEN OF WILLOW, LAVENDER, ROOEBUSCH AND HONEYSUCKLE

A GARDEN VISIBLE THROUGH LARGE SLIDING WINDOWS

CLEAR DOORS INTO WHICH A DOG, A BIRD, MY TODDLER SON WOULD COLLIDE

TELEVISION.

MY ACTIVITIES ON SHOW THERE, VISIBLE FROM THE OUTSIDE

GALLERY, LABORATORY, A PERFORMANCE SPACE FOR AN AUDIENCE OF ONE NEIGHBOUR

STARING AT ME AND MY FRIENDS DISAPPROVINGLY FROM THE GARDEN

WHITE HAIRED AND GHOSTLIKE AGAINST THE DARKNESS

I MADE A SOUNDTRACK FOR COLERIDGE'S 'RIME'

THIS MAY BE HEARD, IN PART, SOMEWHERE IN THIS PIECE, ALONG WITH OTHER SHORT PIECES FROM CASSETTES

CLUMSILY ASSEMBLED FROM FRAGMENTS OF RADIO, RECORDS, AND RECORDED SOUNDS - A TABLA, A SPINNING TOP, MY VOICE, GUITARS, A FRENCH HORN AND TRUMPET, SAXOPHONE, BASS GUITAR, A HANDMADE HARP WITH A FRETWORKED PEACE SYMBOL FOR A SOUND-HOLE, BROKEN GLASS, STRUCK BOTTLES

A TAPE LOOP OF SOME THIRTY FEET OR SO, PASSED THROUGH TWO TAPE RECORDERS

STRETCHED OUT THROUGH THE LOUNGE, WRAPPED AROUND MICROPHONE STANDS

EARLY ATTEMPTS AT PAINTING

PAINTINGS OF HUMAN REMAINS IN NEOLITHIC BURIAL CHAMBERS AND SCULPTED RELIEF OF THE SAME IN PLASTER, LEFT TO DECAY AMONGST GARDEN FOLIAGE

THE SHEEPS' SKULLS, GATHERED ON A TRIP TO DARMOOR WITH A GIRLFRIEND AND HER BROTHER

A SHEEP'S SKULL AND OTHER BONES ARRANGED ON THE PARQUET WITH CANDLES AND TAROT CARDS

ANIMATED GROTESQUELY

A CARICATURE OF DEMON WORSHIP

CAPTURED IN STOP-MOTION ON CELLULOID

AN 8MM MOVIE CAMERA AND PROJECTOR

SHORT FILMS

SOME NARRATIVE, SOME DOCUMENTARY

SOME FRAMES ARE VISIBLE HERE

THEY HAVE THE STATUS OF FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS - ALL EAGERNESS AND NO DEEPER THINKING

THE MOVING IMAGE DOES THE THINKING (SEE ELSEWHERE)

THEN VIDEO AND THE PROSPECT OF CHEAPER EXPERIMENTS

BORROWED EQUIPMENT FROM THE DIOCESE OF GLOUCESTER CATHEDRAL

AN IMPOSSIBLY LARGE VIDEO RECORDING PACK WITH A SEPARATE CAMERA

VIDEOING DIRECTLY FROM THE CATHODE RAY TUBE SCREEN

COLOURED NOISE

THE USUAL STUFF

WILD CHOICES AND ACCIDENTS OF CONTENT

ATTEMPTS TO COERCE THEM INTO A FORM

ACHIEVED SOME 30-35 YEARS LATER IN THE WORK YOU ARE WITNESSING HERE

I FEEL AS THOUGH

LIKE PHANTOMS FROM CHILDHOOD

THOSE IMMATURE ACTS WERE STOCKPILED FOR MY MATURITY

WAITING FOR A CONTEXT THAT HAD NOT YET BEEN DISCOVERED

AN UNCERTAIN GROPING FOR A FORM

AND WHERE DID THEY END UP?

HERE IN A RETROSPECTIVE OF SORTS

SELF PORTRAITS

BECAUSE I LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND SEE ONLY MYSELF

STRUGGLING TO FIND THE FORM OF AN ARTIST

A SHAPE OF WHO I AM

I AM A CHILD WATCHING CRICKET WITH HIS FATHER IN THIS ROOM

OR ONE VERY MUCH LIKE IT

ON AN OVERSIZED
BLACK AND WHITE TELEVISION

I AM A TEENAGER TRAPPED IN AN ENDLESS CYCLE OF SEASONS FILLED WITH THE SOUNDS OF GENTLE TRAFFIC AND A PURRING LAWNMOVER

I AM A FATHER BRINGING SON AND DAUGHTER INTO THIS OVERSIZED TELEVISION WITH THE DOUBLE SCREEN

FRONT AND BACK

FACING HOUSE INTERIOR AND GARDEN

CHANGED FABRICS, FURNITURE, LIGHTING

EVEN THE VAST WINDOW HAD GONE, REPLACED BY COMMONPLACE FRENCH DOORS FASHIONED FROM PVC AND TOUGHENED GLASS

IN THIS ROOM I HID FROM THE MARRIAGE OF CHARLES AND DIANA

IN THIS ROOM THE 1970S WERE FED TO ME THROUGH TELEVISION AND RADIO

IN THIS ROOM A BROWN, SELF-CONTAINED RECORD PLAYER WAS UPGRADED TO A COMBINATION OF TURNTABLE, AMPLIFIER AND RADIO DELIVERING CULTURE STEREOPHONICALLY THROUGH TWO LOUDSPEAKERS POSITIONED HIGH UP ON SHELVES IN ADJACENT CORNERS

A ROOM UNENCUMBERED BY BED OR WARDROBE

A WORKSHOP

SOCIAL AND CREATIVE

PIANO.

I AM A VISITOR TO MY PARENTS' HOME

THE ROOM GIVEN A NEW PURPOSE WITH THE ADDITION OF AN ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD

WHERE A PIANO ONCE STOOD BEFORE ITS JOURNEY TO THE TROPICS

AN ELECTRONIC ORGAN HOUSED IN WOOD WITH ROLL TOP LIKE A BUREAU

BOUGHT BY MY MOTHER TO ENTICE, PERHAPS, TWO BROTHERS TO THE PARENTAL HOME MORE OFTEN

A PIANO HAS A COFFIN-LIKE QUALITY

MELANCHOLY AND SILENT

- LE PIANO SOUS LA MER -

BUT NOT THIS ELECTRONIC ORGAN THAT FEELS MORE LIKE A BUREAU WITH ITS ROLLTOP

IN ANOTHER PLACE

DESTRUCTION OF PIANO

IN ANOTHER PLACE

EQUIPING PIANO TO BE HAMMERED ELECTROMECHANICALLY

YOU CAN HEAR THIS HERE (OR ELSEWHERE) IN THIS PIECE

IN THIS ROOM

ONE STACK OF RECORDS EXCHANGED FOR ANOTHER

OFFENSIVE, REBELLIOUS, LIBERATING, FRIGHTENING

A BEGINNING HERALDING THE REPETITION (LOOPS), THE CACOPHANY (RADIO STATIC), THE AGGRESSION (PERCUSSION)

OUTSIDE

A COUNTRY FIGHTING ITSELF

INSIDE

BLACKOUTS LONG AGO, POWER CUTS LATER

EATING IN CANDLELIGHT

PHOTOGRAPH OF CONFRONTATION

ANGRY BLACK YOUTH FACING POLICE OFFICER

THE SPACE BETWEEN THEM REDUCED

TO INCREASE THE APPEARANCE OF AGGRESSION

ANGRY FACE MOVED CLOSER TO IMPASSIVE POLICEMAN'S FACE UNDER VISOR OF HELMET

ENGINEERED HATRED TO FUEL HATRED

SAME STORY TODAY

DON'T LET TRUTH GET IN THE WAY OF A GOOD STORY

OF PROPAGANDA

A WAR FOUGHT AND WON
SO THAT YOU AND I ARE FREE TO DO AS WE WISH

MORE OR LESS

A YUKKA PLANT WITH DUSTY, WAXY LEAVES AND WAXED STUMP

AN AFRICAN MASK OR, AT LEAST, A SIMULATION OF ONE

A RAINSTICK

THE WALLS WERE ALWAYS WHITE

ALLOWING THE OBJECTS AND SOUNDS TO FLOAT AS UNCOMPLICATED EPHEMERA

ANYTHING LOOKS GOOD AGAINST WHITE

A VASE SET ON A LONG SHELF BEARING A HANDFUL OF NEGLECTED FLOWERS LEFT TO PERISH ABOVE A RADIATOR

IN SUMMER, SLIDING DOORS LETTING AIR FLOW INTO THE HOUSE, GENTLY BILLOWING NET CURTAINS

GENTLY ANIMATING THE MELANCHOLY HOLIDAY AFTERNOONS

ALONE WITH FAILED ATTEMPTS AT STUDY

NOVELS BARELY BEGUN

POETRY MISUNDERSTOOD

BLACK BOXED RECORDINGS OF SHAKESPEARE'S TRAGEDIES

THE ROOM WHERE I STARTED READING ULYSSES

CONTINUED FOR ABOUT A YEAR IN VARIOUS PLACES INCLUDING A HOLIDAY IN BRITTANY

A NOVEL THAT TOOK WHAT SEEMED AS LONG TO READ AS TO BE WRITTEN

A NOVEL
THAT CONNECTS WITH THIS WORK

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL
FICTIONAL
MYTHOLOGICAL
HISTORICAL
TANGENTIAL
EPISODIC

WITH FORMAL AND STYLISTIC VARIATION

BUT STRUCTURED SCIENTIFICALLY

A COLLAGE

I LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT A STRUCTURE - A SCAFFOLD - HELPS ME TO PROGRESS THE WORK

I TALK ELSEWHERE ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF THIS WORK

AND STRUCTURE HELPS

AND GAIL, WHO DROVE ME MAD WITH HER INSANE LAUGHTER AND CHATTER

KEEPING ME AT BAY

WHO SANG 'JE T'AIME' TO ME REPEATEDLY ALONG WITH SOME KIND OF MIME OR DANCE

IN HER HOUSE IN THE DAYLIGHT

AND WE WENT TO THE CINEMA WHERE I KISSED HER COLD WET MOUTH

AND WE KISSED IN MY GARDEN IN THE EVENING

WITH THE LAVENDER NEARBY

I THINK WE WERE LYING ON THE LAWN

AND THERE WAS A GATHERING OF FRIENDS TO VIEW MY SHORT FILM WITH THE SOUND COLLAGE

HOW AWKWARD THAT FELT

FAINT PRAISE AND EMBARRASSMENT

A LESSON IN DEVELOPING A DISREGARD FOR OPINION

SOME CONTEMPT

CREATE A SHELL

TO MAKE THE THING AND TO HELL WITH WHAT PEOPLE THINK

FIND AN IVORY TOWER TO WORK IN

LEARN NOT TO CARE

BECAUSE AN IVORY TOWER GIVES YOU THE BEST VIEW

AND WHILE THE FIRM CLAY WAS CARVED OUT AND BARROWLOADS OF EARTH
EMPTIED INTO SKIPS, COLD DRINKS AND SANDWICHES ARRIVED AT INTERVALS

CHEESE AND SALAD CREAM SANDWICHES

ORANGE SQUASH IN ELEGANT TINTED GLASS BEAKERS

BROUGHT OUT TO US BY MY MOTHER

ALTHOUGH I WONDER HOW MUCH OF THIS LABOUR I ACTUALLY UNDERTOOK

THERE IS A PHOTOGRAPH SOMEWHERE

I WOULD HAVE HAD OTHER THINGS TO OCCUPY MY TIME WHILE MY FATHER TOUGHENED HIS SKIN IN THE SUN AS HE DUG THE TRENCHES

HE WANTED TO TOUGHEN ME UP

BUT ONE DAY I WOULD HANG RESONANT METAL OBJECTS FROM A FRAME AND STRIKE THEM AMATEURISHLY

RECORDING THEM AND LOOPING SEGMENTS OF THE TAPE TO CREATE RHYTHMS

AND SMOKING CIGARETTES FOLLOWED, THE DOOR SLID OPEN TO FRESHEN THE AIR

AND MY NEIGHBOUR SCOWLING IN DISAPPROVAL

AND WE WOULD POSE ON THE ROOF WITH GUITARS FOR PUBLICITY PHOTOGRAPHS

FILMS PROJECTED AT GIGS WITH A SOUNDTRACK COLLAGED FROM A PORNOGRAPHIC RECORDING

A FLEXIDISC

DISAPPROVAL AND SOME ANGER - FEIGNED OR OTHERWISE - FROM REGULARS OF THE BRISTOL HOTEL

THE URGE TO POSE EMPTY PROVOCATIONS

A CHALLENGE

A GAUNTLET THROWN DOWN

A WAR FOUGHT AND WON

SO THAT WE WERE NOW FREE TO PROVOKE

WHEN THE MEDIA WARNED US OF THE NUCLEAR THREAT

WHEN INSTRUCTIONS WERE DISTRIBUTED TO OUR HOMES OUTLINING THE ACTIONS TO TAKE

IT FEELS THAT THESE PROVOCATIONS
ARE SEASONAL

ONCE EVERY THIRTY YEARS OR SO

THEY KEEP US IN CHECK

HOW THOSE PROVOCATIONS INTRUDE UPON US

NAGGING DOUBTS AND WORRIES

BUT WE ARE OTHERWISE FREE

THE STRIKES AND SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGS

MAINTAIN THE DIVISIONS

THE ANXIETIES

THIS ROOM OFFERED PROTECTION

LIKE AN AIR-RAID SHELTER

AS WE SAT LISTENING TO THE DISTANT SOUND OF AIRCRAFT ATTACKING BRITAIN

IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING

FORMICA

SNOW-WHITE AND HARD

HELD UP BY BROWN ENAMELLED METAL LEGS

A SNOW-COVERED BATTLEGROUND FOR PLASTIC TROOPS

REPLACED IN LATER YEARS BY CANE AND RATTAN TOPPED WITH GLASS

ALWAYS THE URGE TO BRING THINGS UP-TO-DATE, DESPITE THE LACK OF TASTE

THE PINKISH INDIAN-STYLE RUG

MORE HAZARD THAN ORNAMENT ON THIS VARNISHED PARQUET FLOOR

WHAT GOES INTO BUILDING A SPACE LIKE THIS?

IT FILLS A GAP IN A HOUSE

DISTURBS THE PROPORTIONS

THE ARCHITECT'S BIGGEST ENEMY IS THE OTHER ARCHITECT

PERHAPS THIS SHOULD BE AN IMMERSIVE LISTENING SPACE

INVISIBLY INVADED FROM FOUR POINTS BY SOUND

THE SOUND OF AIRCRAFT ATTACKING BRITAIN

LIGHTS CONTROLLED IN SYMPATHY WITH TIME AND NOISE

OVER THE NINE HOUR STRETCH, THE LIGHT CHANGES

OR IN SYMPATHY WITH THE PROJECTIONS

BUT THE ORIGINAL ROOM WAS A GAP

A NEGATIVE SPACE

A VOID BETWEEN TWO ADJACENT WALLS AND A FENCE AND GARDEN

LITTLE MORE THAN A ROOF

BUT SEALED OFF BY GLASS

IN FACT, THE HOUSE BECAME EXPOSED FURTHER BY THE ADDITION OF THIS ROOM

A COVERED TERRACE FOR A COLD CLIMATE

AND MY MOTHER SAT IDLY IN THE CAR AT THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE

PARKED ON THE GRAVEL DRIVEWAY

BARELY REGISTERING ME

I WAS A STRANGER

JUST LIKE EVERYONE

AND SHE WAS A STRANGER TO ME

THOSE UNCOMFORTABLE VISITS

WILLING THEM TO END

WATCHING MY FATHER GRAPPLE WITH HIS FEELINGS OF LOVE AND DUTY, AFFECTION AND ANGER

SHE, SAT CHILDLIKE IN THE STATIONARY CAR

HE AND I KEEPING WATCH

MOVING LISTLESSLY BETWEEN CUPS OF TEA, LOUD LAUGHTER AND SANDWICHES

ALWAYS EATING OR DRINKING

SHE, SAT WITH EVIDENT CONTENTMENT, PULLING AT BITS OF PAPER, RIFLING THROUGH HER PURSE AND EXAMINING RECEIPTS, PHOTOGRAPHS AND TISSUES FOR EVIDENCE OF A LIFE

WHAT RECOLLECTIONS DID SHE HAVE IN THOSE LAST YEARS?

THE LONG TAPE LOOP

PICKING UP SOUNDS AND REPEATING THEM SOME SECONDS LATER

SOUNDS REPEATED THIRTY-FIVE YEARS LATER

SOME I REMEMBER ANYWAY

BUT IT'S GOOD TO HEAR THEM AGAIN

AND AGAIN

AND THE PHOTOGRAPHS

THEY NAIL YOU INTO PLACE

CROSS SECTIONS OF A LIFE CARVED BY A DIRTY SCALPEL

BRUTAL REMINDERS OF ENCROACHING DEATH

KEPT CRUELLY ALIVE BY A LEGAL SYSTEM BUILT UPON SUPERSTITION

SO THE LONG TAPE LOOP RETURNS AND BREAKS

BACK TO INFANCY FOR A BRIEF MOMENT

THEN IT'S OVER

SO, MAKE SOMETHING

A LEGACY

BUT LEAVE IT IN A TIDY STATE

DON'T LEAVE A HEADACHE FOR OTHERS

PHOTOGRAPH IT, THEN THROW IT AWAY

THEN DESTROY THE PHOTOGRAPH

AND NOW I WONDER IF THE TAPES STILL EXIST SOMEWHERE

THE TAPE LOOPS RECORDED IN THIS ROOM

ELECTROMAGNETIC GHOSTS FROM 1980

A KIRLIAN PHONOGRAPH

RADIATED NOISE FROM THE HEAVENS INSCRIBED ONTO PLASTIC AND FERROUS MATTER

PLAYED OVER AND OVER

PLAYED BACKWARDS

BUT SOME SOUNDS ARE PALINDROMES

WHITE NOISE

AND OTHER COLOURS OF NOISE

BUT ALMOST ALL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS HAVE A FORWARD TRAJECTORY THROUGH TIME

THEY MUST BE EXECUTED BY MECHANICAL ACTIONS

PLUCKING, STRIKING, SCRAPING, BLOWING

AND THESE ACTIONS HAVE A BEGINNING

THEY START A VIBRATION THAT CAN'T GO BACK

FINAL AND ENDURING MOMENTS.

IN THOSE LAST DAYS

BOTH MOTHER'S AND FATHER'S

EMACIATED AND SLACK-JAWED

A HOWL OF PAIN WHEN POSITION ADJUSTED IN BED

THE FLICKER OF A SMILE ON HER FACE WHEN I HELD HER HAND AND SAID GOODBYE (MY FATHER WITHDREW HIS)

AND NO, I DID NOT WANT TO SEE HER IN THE COFFIN

THAT WASN'T HER

THAT WAS A PAINTED VERSION OF A STRANGER

THE REAL PERSON LIVES ON IN OBJECTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS

I READ BARTHES' 'CAMERA LUCIDA'

DAYLIGHT AND DAWN LIGHT.

THIS SUBURBAN EXPERIENCE OF BIRDS, GENTLE TRAFFIC, BLUE SKIES, SOUND OF SCHOOLS FILLING AND EMPTYING, MARKING THE PASSAGE OF TIME THROUGH DAYS OF ILLNESS, UNCERTAINTY, AND TRUANCY

REMINDING ME OF MY INCAPACITY TO ACT

TO MAKE SOMETHING OF MYSELF

IN A SPACE ECHOING MY MOTHER'S SALESROOM IN THE DEPARTMENT STORE WHERE I WOULD GO TO KILL TIME AFTER SCHOOL

DOUBLE GLAZED BOXES

SLIDING DOORS TO REPLACE THE FRENCH DOORS THAT TERMINATED THE LOUNGE

THROUGH WHICH I THREW A PADLOCK, NARROWLY MISSING THE MOTHER OF A FRIEND THAT UPSET ME

THE MELANCHOLY OF AN EMPTY HOUSE IN THE SUBURBS

SUFFOCATED BY THE LIGHT ENFOLDING IT

LIGHT DIFFUSED THROUGH NET CURTAINS, MAKING OUTSIDE FEEL LIKE A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

WHEN I WAS UNCOMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN

WAITING AND ANXIOUS

FEELING UNSETTLED FOR ANOTHER 30 OR MORE YEARS

UNABLE TO TAKE THE PLUNGE

CRIPPLED BY SELF LOATHING, DOUBT AND FEAR

THAT MELANCHOLY, MUTED BY THE SENSE OF RESIDING IN A SAFE PLACE

CLOUDED ME

DAWN CHORUS

TREELOADS OF CHIRPING SPARROWS AGAINST A BACKCLOTH OF DARK SEMI-DETACHED HOMES PEPPERED WITH SQUARES OF ORANGE LIGHT

AND THE SMOOTH PURR OF ISOLATED CARS

PASSING AS IF FROMLOUDSPEAKER TO LOUDSPEAKER

THE CAR PORTS, GARAGES AND GENTRIFIED PORCHES

BODIES MOVING TOO LARGE
BEHIND BARE WINDOWS

I WATCHED HER DANCING THERE

AND SHE WATCHED ME WATCHING

WAKING AND DREAMING.

A DREAM

DAYLIGHT

IN THE HOUSE

I WAS DRAWN OUT TO THE PAVEMENT BY THE SOUND OF A CHORUS OF ANGELS

THE GHOSTS OF CHILDREN LIFTED ME 20 FEET INTO THE AIR

BROUGHT ME BACK TO EARTH

PERHAPS I HAD ESCAPED DEATH THAT NIGHT

I STOP BREATHING FOR LONG PERIODS WHEN SLEEPING

I HAD IT TESTED AND THE RESULTS SHOWED NOTHING

BUT I KNOW I'M RIGHT

IT LEADS ME TO FATIGUE AND PERHAPS DEATH

MAYBE THAT DREAM WAS ONE SUCH MOMENT

THIS MAY ACCOUNT FOR MY DREAMS OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA

BEING TRAPPED IN THE SCHOOL'S CORRIDOR IN THE RUSH BETWEEN LESSONS (THAT WASN'T A DREAM)

THE RECURRING CHARACTER NAMED FLORENCE

A KIND OF SANTA CLAUS

APPEARING FROM NOWHERE

WHO WAS PROBABLY MY FATHER

I WOULD DREAD FALLING ASLEEP

A DREAM

WOMAN IN ATTIC ROOM NAKED ON BED VAGINA IN PLACE OF NAVEL

A RIBBED TUBE SMOKING

I HAD ANOTHER DREAM OF A MAN WITH HIS HAND CUT OFF

AND THE STUMP LOOKED LIKE SWISS ROLL

THAT DREAM WAS SET IN GLOUCESTER OUTSIDE THE ROW OF SHOPS IN FRONT OF THE BUS STATION

I COULD PINPOINT THE EXACT SPOT

WHERE MARKET PARADE MEETS STATION ROAD

I RECENTLY PHOTOGRAPHED IT

ONE OF MY EARLIEST MEMORIES IS OF WALKING WITH MY MOTHER ALONG NORTHGATE STREET, CROSSING THE OXBODE

A COMPLETE STRANGER ASKED ME WHAT WAS WRONG WITH MY EYE

ANOTHER EARLY MEMORY

LOST IN A DEPARTMENT STORE AND IN PANIC PUNCHED THE STOMACH OF A MAN I THOUGHT TO BE MY FATHER

AND BEING LEFT IN THE CRECHE

ONE CHILD VOMITS

I ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE

A DARK CORRIDOR

RETRIEVED BY ADULTS IN WHITE COATS

THE ROOM 2.

THE BEGINNING OF THIS ROOM WAS AN ARCHITECT'S DRAWING

THEN CAME THE DIGGING

THE CONCRETE POURED INTO TRENCHES

BRICKLAYING

GLAZING

ONE LARGE PANE DELIVERED AND BROKEN ACCIDENTALLY AS I CLOSED THE GARAGE DOOR

CONCRETE CANTILEVER

I WAS BETWEEN EIGHT
AND THIRTEEN YEARS OLD

PLANNING PERMISSION GRANTED IN 1972

FIVE YEAR WINDOW

THIS IS A JIGSAW PUZZLE WHERE I KNOW MOST OF THE PIECES ARE MISSING

PART STAGE

PART RECORDING STUDIO

PART TELEVISION STUDIO

CONSIDER THE PROSPECT OF MAKING A VIDEO

OF MAKING AN OPERA

OR JUST MAKE RECORDINGS AND BURN THE BUILDING ON SOME WASTEGROUND

ON NOVEMBER 5

LIKE TARKOVSKY

BUT MAKE SURE THIS CAMERA IS WORKING

CONSIDER HOUSING THE ROOM IN AN INCONGRUOUS SPACE

LIKE THE ROOM IS A SPACECRAFT THAT HAS LANDED THERE

IN A STATELY HOME, FOR INSTANCE

OR A THEATRE

CHURCH

ON STILTS, PERHAPS, LIKE IN VENICE, OR THE BURMESE JUNGLE

PERHAPS DESIGN IT TO BE WATERPROOF

BITUMEN-COATED

BLACK BOX

FLOATING

EACH SECTION

RELATE TO 'ULYSSES'

TAKE SOMETHING FROM EACH CHAPTER

"ROUGHLY CORRESPONDS TO THE EPISODES IN JOYCE'S ULYSSES"

AND 'WANDERING ROCKS'

WHERE THE SAME EVENT IS SEEN FROM DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS

24 TO 18 TO 14 - GET IT DOWN TO ONE EVENTUALLY

CONNECTION: TAKE THE ROOM TO DIFFERENT LOCATIONS WORK ON AN IMPROVISATION FRAMEWORK WITH DIFFERENT MUSICIANS

THUS THE ROOM SHOULD MOVE AROUND

VISIT CITIES AND FIELDS

GATHERING MUSICIANS LOCALLY

ACCUMULATING SOUNDS

SUNLIGHT AND DIRT

A CUBOID INVADING INCONGRUOUS SPACES

A PASTURE GRAZED BY SHEEP

SET IT ALIGHT WHEN IT'S ALL OVER

I THOUGHT THE PLANS WERE MISSING (THEY ARE NOT MISSING)

MAKE THEM ANEW

A LETTER TO THE CURRENT OWNERS

THEY REMEMBER MY FATHER

THEY ARE VERY COOPERATIVE

WILL SEND PLANS IF FOUND IN THE ATTIC

THIS CHANGES THE RELATIONSHIP

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SPACE AND THE WORK

IS THERE A NEED FOR VERISIMILITUDE?

IS THE DEPTH OF DETAIL IN THE REBUILD SIGNIFICANT?

IT COULD BE A TOTALLY STYLISED ALTERNATIVE OR PERVERSELY DETAILED SIMULACRUM

YOU COULD HAVE BOTH

AN EXTERIOR LIKE A BLACK BLOCK

AN INTERIOR THAT RECREATES THE SOURCE ALMOST EXACTLY

A PIECE OF REALISM WRAPPED IN ABSTRACTION

WHICH REMINDS ME OF SOMETHING

BUT I'M NOT SURE WHAT

BUT THE PLANS HAVE BEEN FOUND

THOSE LARGE SHEETS OF DULL PAPER, FOLDED MAP-LIKE, LOADED WITH HAND DRAWN SPECIFICATIONS

DRAUGHTSMANSHIP

I THINK OF XENAKIS

DRAFTING THE SCORE FOR METASTASIS SECRETLY AT HIS DRAWING BOARD IN LE CORBUSIER'S ATELIER

STEALING MOMENTS TO RAISE THE TOP SHEET AND DRAW HIS CURVES OF GLISSANDOS ONTO GRAPH PAPER

I RELATE TO THAT

STEALING TIME FOR GREATER THINGS

THE THEFT JUSTIFIED

LIKE THE TYPING AND PRINTING OF THE LIST OF PERMUTATIONS OF THE FIRST SIX PRIME NUMBERS (SEE ELSEWHERE)

MY STRUCTURING PRINCIPLE

DRAFTED IN SWANSEA IN 1992

AND USED EVER SINCE

PERHAPS THE 14 SOUNDTRACKS COULD BE OVERLAID

INTERPENETRATING EACH OTHER

PRECOMPOSED LAYERS FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF A LIVE ENSEMBLE

DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT THE SPACE

GUIDED BY A CLICK TRACK

THE ROOM AT THE CENTRE

RECEIVING THE SIGNALS FROM THE SPACE WITHOUT

MUSICIANS WALKING PERHAPS

PERHAPS READING THE SCORE FROM THE WALLS

THE OUTER WALLS OF THE SPACE OR THE OUTER WALLS OF THE ROOM

MAYBE SOMEONE IS SINGING INSIDE THE ROOM

THE FINAL LAYER

AN IMPROVISATION FRAMEWORK FOR ANY OF THE SECTIONS

A FRAMEWORK FOR EACH SUBSECTION TO BE ORDERED ACCORDING TO THE SECTION USED

FOR EXAMPLE SECTION B IS ORDERED 11, 13, 3, 2, 7, 5

TAKE EACH 13, FOR EXAMPLE

COLLECT THE RELEVANT PITCH FOR EACH

COMBINE THEM

SEE WHAT EMERGES

IN 'JUSTINE / TRISTAN' THE IMPROVISATIONAL STRATEGY WORKED

NOT THE VOCALS, PERHAPS

AND PERHAPS THE GLISSANDOS WERE NOT SO GOOD

BUT THE FIXED NOTE FIGURES

WITH INDEPENDENT TEMPI

WERE EFFECTIVE FOR THE MOST PART

THIS WORK HERALDED THE STRATEGY I SHALL USE HERE

ADOPTING THE CHORD THAT IS FORMED FROM ALL 14 INSTANCES, BY BAR LENGTH

WHICH IS TO SAY

EACH BAR OF TWO BEATS

AND THERE ARE 14 OF THEM

WILL FORM A CHORD
FOR THE TWO MINUTE SEGMENTS OF ANY SECTION

AND SO ON

THIS MUCH IS WRITTEN

BUT THERE WOULD NEED TO BE OTHER CONTROLS

CUE POINTS

TO SYNCHRONISE WITH KEY MOMENTS IN THE SOUNDTRACK

SUDDENLY

PERHAPS EACH PASSAGE COULD BE A DIMINUENDO TO SILENCE

THE ENSEMBLE REFORMED AT THE SYNCHRONISATION POINT

MAYBE THEY PLAY OVER ALTERNATE SECTIONS

OR SELECTED SECTIONS

TO GIVE IT SOME AIR

SO IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THEM

I LIKE THAT THE WORK HAS THE BURDEN OF THE NOTES THAT WERE ARRIVED AT
EARLIER ON

THEY ARE A CURSE AND A BLESSING

THEY ARE THERE AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGEMENT

BUT THEY ARE DEFINED AND SHOULD BE ACCEPTED

LIKE MEMBERS OF A FAMILY

UNIQUE BUT COMPARABLE

SOME BEARING SIMILARITIES

OTHERS QUITE DIFFERENT

YET EACH CONTRIBUTING TO THE WHOLE

YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THE BAD WITH THE GOOD

A FAMILY OF FOUR HAS NO BLACK SHEEP

THERE ARE SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE

BUT IT MAY HAVE A PRODIGAL SON

BUT PARENTS DIE

TO CHANGE THE DYNAMIC

TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE OTHERS

THE CHILDREN, THE GRANDCHILDREN, THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS

A DIMINUENDO

LETTING THE OTHERS BE HEARD

THE LIFE OF THE SOUND SLOWLY ABATING AND RETURNING SUBITO ON A POINT OF CHANGE

THE RUPTURE OF BIRTH,THEN A SLOW DIMINUENDO

MEMORY AND DISTORTION.

WE TALK OF MAKING MEMORIES AS IF THEY'RE SOMETHING WE DECIDE UPON

THOSE MEMORIES ARE JUST BRIC-A-BRAC THAT STICKS AROUND WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT

AND MEMORIES ARE ACTUALLY QUITE DELIMITED

FRAMED

ABSTRACTED FROM THE WHOLE

LIKE PHOTOGRAPHS

BLURRED PHOTOGRAPHS PERHAPS

WHERE SOME AREAS ARE IN SHARP FOCUS AND OTHERS HAVE DISSOLVED INTO A MIST

THOSE TRIGGERS, SMELLS, TASTES

THAT UNLOCK A MEMORY OR HOLD IT AT A FRUSTRATING DISTANCE

A FIGURE ON THE TARMACKED ROAD IN THE HEAT

SHIMMERING

FAMILIAR, YET CAN'T BE PLACED

AND THE ALTERNATIVE IMAGES THAT OTHERS PROVIDE

PROJECTING A 'YOU' AT ODDS WITH YOUR EVOLVED IMAGE OF YOURSELF

AND HOW SCALE CHANGES

HOW THIS ROOM, REBUILT TO ORIGINAL SIZE, IS SMALLER THAN I RECALL

SPACES CHANGE SIZE

LIKE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE ANGRY YOUTH AND THE POLICE OFFICER

PULLED CLOSER TOGETHER IN A FIERCE CONFRONTATION THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN

NOT LIKE THAT ANYWAY

OUR LIVES ARE REWRITTEN

BY OURSELVES AND BY OTHERS

OUR FROZEN RECOLLECTIONS

EACH A FILM LOOP OF ABOUT 5 TO 10 SECONDS IN LENGTH

AND DESPITE THE ACCRETION OF DIRT AND SCRATCHES

THE FADING OF THE COLOURS

DESPITE ALL THAT

THE IMAGE REMAINS

FADED AND JERKY

STARING BACK AT YOU

THESE LOOPS ARE PLAYED UNTIL THEY BREAK

THEY GET FEWER AND FEWER

UNTIL SOMEONE BURSTS IN WITH A FRESH COPY

THEIR COPY, NOT YOURS

DIFFERENT SCRATCHES

UNFAMILIAR IMPERFECTIONS

AND PERHAPS THEY LOAD THE PROJECTOR UPSIDE DOWN, BACK TO FRONT

MAYBE IT'S A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SEGMENT

STARTING EARLIER OR ENDING LATER

THE DIFFERENCES SURPRISE YOU

MAKE YOU DOUBT YOUR MEMORY

SO WE PLACATE EACH OTHER BY HOLDING UP THE MIRROR WITH THE FRAME WE PREFER

AND WHY NOT?

OUR SELVES ARE CHANGING

WE ARE NOT MADE OF THE SAME MATTER WE WERE BORN WITH

WE CAME FROM STARS AND DISPERSE INTO SPACE

OUR SKIN, OUR ORGANS

RADIO STATIC FUZZING THE EDGES OF THE SIGNAL

WE ARE NOT WHO WE THINK WE ARE

WINTER LIGHT.

AS I STEP OUT ON MY BIRTHDAY

TANGLE OF HAIR AND LIMBS IN MEMORY

SHARP COLD

AND THE NEXT MORNING

MENTAL IMAGES OF MENSTRUAL BLOOD ON SNOW

SHOULD I ASK FRIENDS FOR PHOTOGRAPHS?

THEY WOULD CONSTITUTE AN ALTERNATIVE MEMORY

ONE THAT IS THEIRS AND BARELY MINE

BUT THAT WOULD BROADEN MINE

STOCKPILING FOR THE FUTURE

LIKE A CUPBOARD LOADED WITH TINNED FOODS

THERE JUST IN CASE

BUT THOSE WHITE LIMBS, THAT WEB OF HAIR, FACES SMOOTHED OVER WITH HANDS

IN THE PRESENT, ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT REFLECTION OR PROJECTION

ABSOLUTELY NOW

THIS IS LATER SUPPLANTED BY A CONNECTION

A FULFILMENT OF WHAT DID NOT TAKE PLACE, OR NOT FULLY, IN THE BOMB SHELTER IN 1984 OR THEREABOUTS

THE YEAR, PERHAPS, THAT ORWELL RUINED FOR US

(MY FATHER TURNED OFF THE TELEVISION IN THIS ROOM WHEN THE TORTURE SCENE WAS STARTING IN THE TELEVISION ADAPTATION)

AND WHEN, NOT LONG AFTER, THE GOVERNMENT TOLD US OF DEATH THROUGH UNPROTECTED SEX

THERE, IN THE GLOOM

BODIES TANGLED

HANDS REACHING OUT

ANOTHER STORY

IN THESE GLOOMY TIMES

AS THE WINTER COVERS US

ITS BRITISH COMBINATION OF FOGS, RAIN

THE LEAFLESS BRANCHES SILHOUETTED AGAINST GREY SKIES

OUR DULL AND LIFELESS WINTERS

WHERE BERRIES LIE DOTTED ON BRITTLE SNOW

MENSTRUAL BLOOD

FOOD FOR COLD BIRDS

OUR HANDS CONNECTED ACROSS THE KITCHEN TABLE

PLAYFUL SCRATCHING

LIKE A FIRST LOVE

YOU, THROUGH A HAZE OF ALCOHOL

ME, FAILING TO FIND SOMETHING ON MY PHONE

YOUR HOUSEMATE

IN A CHILDISHLY PINK DRESSING GOWN

STOOD NEARBY PREPARING FOOD

ACROSS ANOTHER KITCHEN TABLE SHE, WITH ABUNDANCE OF CRIMPED HAIR, LAUGHED SPONTANEOUSLY

AND I MUST CONSIDER HOW TO READ THIS COMMENTARY

IN A MONOTONE?

WITH ACCOMPANYING VOICE?

A WOMAN'S

TO DETOXIFY IT

SURPRISINGLY EASY TO POST-SYNCHRONISE

AN UNCOMFORTABLE INTIMACY

BUT NO MATERIAL FOR SONGS

WHAT WILL SHE SING?

THE REDUCTION OF THE 'INFERNO'

PERHAPS

PERHAPS THE SINGING COMES IN A LATER MANIFESTATION OF THE CYCLE

ONCE THE MUSIC HAS BEEN FIXED INTO PLACE

PERHAPS THE INSTALLATION WILL BE DESTROYED AND THE MUSIC REMAINS

THE INSTALLATION IS THE MECHANISM FOR CREATING THE RECORDINGS

AND THIS COMMENTARY

DOES IT HAVE A PLACE IN THE WHOLE?

SHOULD IT BE PARTITIONED OFF AS A PRINTED TEXT, OR THE RECORDINGS PLAYED BETWEEN SECTIONS?

FINAL MOMENTS 2.

THIS WORK

A SUMMATION

AN EXPANSION

IT PROLIFERATES

AN ACCRETION

BUT THE FRUSTRATING THING IS THAT NOT EVERYTHING WILL MAKE IT INTO THE PIECE

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: LIVE FOREVER OR DIE ABRUPTLY

IN A WORK LIKE THIS PERHAPS

VIKING SHIP BURIAL

EGYPTIAN PYRAMID

THE ROOM AS RECEPTACLE

STORE FOR OUR TEMPORARY SELVES

FOSSILISED REMAINS

BITS OF JUNK IN A BOX

A KITCHEN DRAWER

THE TEMPORARY DISORDER OF THE HOTEL ROOM

TWO FIGURES HUDDLED IN ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS

REFLECTED IN A LARGE MIRROR

PASSIONATE EMBRACE

GLOW OF RED WINE

SWILLED IDLY IN A GLASS BALANCED IN OUTSTRETCHED PALM

IN A LARGE MIRROR THE END OF THE BED VISIBLE

TWO FIGURES AT THE EDGE

ACROSS THE FLOOR, THE JUNK OF TRAVEL

SUITCASE, TOILETRIES, NOVEL, WORN AND UNWORN CLOTHING

I REMEMBER ASCHENBACH (IN THE FILM VERSION OF DEATH IN VENICE)

CAREFULLY LAYING OUT PERSONAL EFFECTS IN THE HOTEL ROOM

THE PHOTOGRAPH OF WIFE AND DAUGHTER

KISSED PIOUSLY BEFORE LEAVING FOR DINNER

NO ROOM FOR SUCH SENTIMENTS HERE

THE TAXI TOOK ME HOME ALONG THE MOTORWAY FROM THE HOTEL ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF CARDIFF

THE TAXI IN SHANGHAI AN ENDLESS JOURNEY THROUGH RAPIDLY BUILT RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS

NO ROOM FOR SENTIMENT HERE

THE SMALL POCKET OF GENUINE ANTIQUITY

WELL, FROM THE 1800s AT LEAST

WHERE MOPEDS BUZZ AND CARD GAMES ARE WON AND LOST AT THE ROADSIDE

BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER?

SURROUNDED BY TOWER BLOCKS

THE LAUNDRY HANGING FROM BALCONIES

THE VEGETABLES PREPARED ON THE PAVEMENTS

LIKE SOME TINY PIECE OF EAST LONDON

HELD BACK FROM THE DEVELOPERS

JEALOUSLY AND PROUDLY GUARDED SPACES

AGAINST A BACKGROUND OF GLASS AND STEEL

THE BAMBOO SCAFFOLDING

A CHEAP AND PLENTIFUL MATERIAL

LIGHT AND STRONG

MAKES A DELICIOUS SOUND

RESONANT YET DEAD SOMEHOW

GENTLE ON THE EAR

A PIECE OF ANTIQUITY

OUR SPACES - SHARED AND PRIVATE SPACES - ARE COMMODITIES BOUGHT AND SOLD

NO LONGER ENJOYED WITH A SENSE OF SHARED OWNERSHIP

HOTEL ROOMS

SHARED ANONYMOUSLY THROUGH
A DAILY EXCHANGE OF MONEY FOR UTILITY

THE SHEETS ARE SOILED DAILY

THE CARPET TRODDEN BY A THOUSAND DIRTY SHOES

THIS ROOM

AN AQUARIUM

EXPOSED FRONT AND BACK

I HAD TO CLOSE THE CURTAINS FRONT AND BACK

TO GAIN SOME PRIVACY

SHE FAINTED IN MY ARMS THERE

AN ORANGE TYPEWRITER AT WHICH I WROTE THOSE CLUMSY TALES

A SCENARIO FOR A FILM NEVER MADE

THE LYRICS AND POETRY

SOMETHING SET IN THE DARK AGES IN RESPONSE TO SHAKESPEARE AND THE ICELANDIC SAGAS

A STAG IN THE FOREST

DARK, CLOUDED SKIES

I READ SOME TO HER

OVER THE TELEPHONE

SHE LAUGHED AND SAID I READ BADLY

THE FLAWS MUST BE EMBRACED

MY PHYSICAL FEATURES

THE BAD PAINTING

THE UNSCHOOLED HARMONIES

LACK OF CONFIDENCE MASKED BY BRAVURA

AND A COG MISSING FROM THE MACHINERY OF EMOTION

RESULTING IN CERTAIN RESPONSES BEING TARDY OR ALTOGETHER ABSENT

AT THAT TYPEWRITER I SAT FEEDING
ROUGH CREAM PAPER OF UNUSUAL SIZE INTO THE ROLLER

I CAN STILL HEAR IT

AND I WOULD ATTEMPT SHORT STORIES

BUT COMBINED WITH HANDWRITTEN CORRECTIONS OR WHOLE PASSAGES OF MANUSCRIPT

I HAD TERRIBLE HANDWRITING

SO I TAUGHT MYSELF A STYLE IN 2008

FOR 'MARGINALIA'

MODELLED ON THE FRENCH STYLE

JOHN COCTEAU OR GODARD MOST PROBABLY

AND I WROTE OUT A TEXT - REDUCED FROM THE 'INFERNO' - BY HAND IN A SINGLE LINE ACROSS AND THROUGH THE PAGES OF A SKETCHBOOK

SO WHEN I REFLECT ON BEING A BAD WRITER

STYLE, CONTENT, BREADTH OF VOCABULARY

I THINK OF THIS PRESENT TEXT

SHOULD I PUSH IT HARDER?

SHOULD I TOUGHEN IT UP, MAKE IT JEWEL LIKE?

CRYSTAL

SHARPEN, POLISH, REMOVE THE IMPURITIES

THEN I THINK OF SIEGFRIED'S SWORD

DON'T WELD THE FRAGMENTS - GRIND THEM DOWN TO FILINGS, SMELT AND CAST AFRESH

"MAKE IT NEW"

AND THEN I CONSIDER THE JAPANESE METHOD OF REPAIRING CRACKS IN POTTERY WITH GOLD TO MAKE THE FLAWS BEAUTIFUL

THAT'S FAR CLOSER TO MY TEMPERAMENT

MORE HUMANE

SIEGFRIED WAS, AFTER ALL, A FASCIST PROTOTYPE

AND THAT'S HOW THEY DO THINGS

GRIND IT DOWN

EVEN TODAY

FEIGNED NAIVETY

THE PURE FOOL

THE 'NATURAL' AND UNSCHOOLED HEROISM

FIRES AND PURIFICATIONS

WE ARE NOT ALL THAT BAD

WE MOSTLY GET ON TOGETHER

AND WE HAVE THE FLAWS THAT RECEIVE THE GOLD

NOT IRON AND STEEL

GOLD LIKE VEINS OF SUNLIGHT IN CRACKED VESSELS

THE CLUMSY HARMONIES, AND CLUMSY BRUSHSTROKES

SUNLIGHT AND DIRT

THOSE PHOTOGRAPHS AND SLIDES SLOWLY FADING, GATHERING DIRT

LOSING THEIR MEMORIES

BUT STILL RETAINING THE LAST VESTIGES OF RECOGNISABLE FEATURES

THE DIRT: FLAWS INSPIRING ADMIRATION

IT IS, AFTER ALL, SIMPLE CHEMISTRY

IT'S ALL DIRT ACTIVATED BY SUNLIGHT

IN A COAL SHED, NEXT TO THIS ROOM, I WOULD DEVELOP THE PHOTOGRAPHS WITH A RUDIMENTARY SET-UP OF ENLARGER AND TWO TRAYS

THE ODOUR OF DEVELOPER

THE TINY ROOM WAS COLD AND DARK

NO SAFETY LIGHT

GAINING ENOUGH UNDERSTANDING TO REALISE THAT THE FILM BLOW UP (I MADE A WORK BASED ON THIS FILM) WAS FOUNDED ON A MISCONCEPTION (I'VE EXPLAINED THIS ELSEWHERE)

BUT THAT LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE MEDIUM

THE PROCESS

THE PROCESS IS ALLURING IN ITSELF

BERGMAN AND I.

WHEN I FOUND 'THE SILENCE' BRILLIANT AND THEN 'THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY' AND, OF COURSE, 'WINTER LIGHT'

WHEN THE PECULIAR BRAND OF SELF-LOATHING AND NIHILISM SEEMED TO FIT ME LIKE A GLOVE

WHEN THE SISTERS, ONE IN THE AGONY OF AN UNNAMED DISEASE, ANOTHER CUTTING HER LABIA WITH BROKEN GLASS

WHEN THE HISTRIONICS WERE THRASHED OUT IN 'PERSONA' (BROKEN GLASS AGAIN)

WHEN THE SPIDER GOD PENETRATED HARRIET ANDERSSON

EXPERTLY WRITHING

WHEN, IN 'WINTER LIGHT', THE MERCILESS DISMANTLING OF INGRID THULIN MADE ME FEEL GUILTY FOR SOMETHING I DIDN'T DO

THAT WAS WHEN I IDENTIFIED VERY POWERFULLY WITH BERGMAN'S FROZEN LANDSCAPES

THEN I READ HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND THE SPELL WAS BROKEN

With the support of Arts Council of Wales and The National Lottery.

Arts Council of Wales