Friday, 24 March 2017
"Here are some phrases..."
This is me trying to transcribe an audience's reactions to a show that I performed nine years ago (the promenade performance of Jonah Non Grata at the Shunt Lounge). Is that someone saying "This is an asshole of a night" at 40 minutes, 40 seconds? I can't be sure. I might leave that out. It's tricky. What sounds like "Good question" on one cheap set of headphones turns out to be "Is it Russian?" on another, and if anyone can tell me what I'm saying 22 minutes and 28 seconds into this please let me know or I will just have to go with "I've discovered a new version of ham" which it definitely isn't.
It's a surprisingly creative procrastination exercise though: Initially I just wanted to subtitle the video (using youtube's CC function) because so much of it was inaudible and because it beat writing something new, but the subtitles seem to be taking on a nice life of their own now and something new seems to be making itself regardless. Maybe this is because I've spent nearly a week staring at the thing but it might also be because so much of the show concerns the reading or repeating of text: phrases in a foreign accent, instructions, hymns, Ian Livingstone's "City of Thieves", that it seems apt these texts are now literally take centre stage. I also like that any audience murmur I can make out is now also "text". You could never do this in the live show. This is the book. It's almost like a comic. Finally. And the fact that so many of the words are inaudible might actually be helping that. Words and pictures.
I still haven't made a decision about Edinburgh though, obviously. This is what I'm doing instead. I'll let you know when I've finished, but in the meantime here's the test piece I did a few weeks ago, although I don't know who or what I was testing, maybe just people's capacity attention.