Responding to today’s creative prompt: dark. A homemade video in response to an everyday activity and the electrifying experience of reading W H Auden’s “Refugee Blues” poem and finding it shockingly up-to-date 70 years later.
I’m kindof cheating here as I didn’t make it fresh today, it is one I made earlier. But I’ve got a virus today (sound of violin playing). If I had a dog it would’ve eaten my homework.
A much better reading and visuals of W H Auden’s work was recently featured on the BBC – they put his words to modern news footage. (I made my vid first, I wasn’t copying).
Some excellent advice for new poets here, from Claire Askew, in the Scottish Poetry book trust post here.
1. Write lots of poems – Claire chose 41 poems to put in a book from an original pile of 150 poems. That improves the quality of the chosen ones. Also, when submitting to a journal, and waiting to hear back, you can’t send those same poems somewhere else so…. you need a lot of poems ready to send.
2. Best piece of writing advice she was given – “You can only have a first book, once”. There are literary prizes for a first poetry collection – so you want to wait until you’ve got a really strong first book put together. Don’t rush into publishing too early! Some famous writers have spent their lives trying to buy up all copies of their first book, to destroy because the style is so unlike their true voice (Norman MacCaig did this).
3. Get into the poetry community. Claire got early opportunities because she met people in a writing group or someone heard her performing her poetry. Join a good workshop group, go to open mic nights and perform, and hear about other opportunities through getting to know other writers.
Here’s one of Claire’s poems, set to video (the first 41 seconds are scenesetting, unsettling experiemental noises – you can skip ahead to the poem if you prefer).
This simple exercise again begins with pasted paper base layer – in this case, patterned scrapbook paper – then builds layers of paint over it. Einat Kessler is the tutor. Like Bob Blast, it is very simple and all the materials are cheaply and easily purchasable in a craft or art store.
This collage piece works together picture and text.
It makes decisions on the process very simple – once you’ve picked the patterned paper to use as the base, you simply mix or use paints in similar colours/tones used in the base paper. Hey presto, all the colours will go together. Whether you use words or not is up to you, of course.
The demo takes 15 minutes to view, you can work alongside, so it’s a slightly longer exercise than the last one.
A salute to the day – a fly past by birds, which goes by the lovely title of “Murmuration” – a naturally occurring phenomenon. Filmed by artist Fiona Watson.
Fiona Watson has made a series of tiny films – lasting simply between one minute and two minutes in length. These are very do-able for anyone who a camera which records video, and some basic editing equipment.
Here is one video recorded out of the train window on a journey, edited and set to music. It seems to tell a small story, with a haunting piece of music and an everyday intercity journey (Edinburgh to Glasgow).
Happy Birthday Steve Martin! Even though it was yesterday, I just heard about it today. In celebration, his latest song/video
A bit of banjo, a sense of fun, some animation and lots of saturated colour.
And what about that name, “Caroline”? It’s got a perfect rhythm to be in a lyric – and this song doesn’t waste a syllable of its charm.
Film tie-in: in one of his films, Steve Martin is the one doing the wooing under the balcony (in hiding) pretending to be the voice of a shy wooer in the film “Roxanne”. A fun comedy. If you haven’t already seen it, look it out. But not before you’ve looked out “All of Me” – an inspired physical comedy movie in which half of his body is possessed by a woman.
Listening to the words/music of this video – does it spark a small project idea to make? Perhaps a collage? Or imagining it with a different ending?