Monday, December 08, 2008


Borges and Bossa Nova

Months ago I promised the Asociación Latinoamericana de Swansea (yes there is such a thing!) that I would do a reading for their Christmas party on December 6th... Not just a reading but a multimedia show utilising live music and pictures! The idea was that I would write background music and play it myself, while projecting cartoons on a giant screen behind me, reciting my story at the same time.

Naturally I left the preparations until the last minute and so Saturday was a busy day, rushing around to prepare for the evening performance. By this time I still hadn't written a single note of music and didn't even have an instrument to hand. Nor was a computer available for the show, so my planned powerpoint presentation was scuppered. Luckily Adele came up with a brilliant low-tech alternative -- printed pictures dangled from the end of an improvised fishing rod.

To make the illusion more realistic, she hid on stage behind a hastily constructed screen (a flattened cardboard box covered with a black curtain) and dangled the pictures with supreme efficiency and precision and almost no wobbling. I was extremely grateful for her cool professionalism! As for the music, the awesome Paul Battenbough saved the day with his smooth and bittersweet picking and strumming. We did no rehearsing before the show -- he merely relied on his natural talent as a superb musician to set the musical mood as we went along.

The story I read was actually two linked stories -- 'False Dawn of Parrots' and 'The Gala of Implausible Songs' -- both of them part of my Mermaid Variations project, both already published in Portuguese in my Sereia book and published in English in issues #7 and #17 of Postscripts. The cartoons I used were drawn by Anthony Lewis (as opposed to those drawn for the Portuguese book by Paulo Barros). The slightly misleading title of the show was Borges and Bossa Nova. My enormous gratitude again to Adele and Paul. We earned £25 for the show, split three ways.

sounds like it was lovely!
wish i was there!
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]