I don’t know about you, but I need a lot more silence in my life.
The Queensland Poetry Festival is now only mere weeks away. If you have time, it is well worth considering the program in its fullness and making a plan to find wild sounds, considered moments of love, tales tall and true, and electro-rawshocks amongst the various beauties and pleasures that the festival has on offer. Working out how to keep your stamina up, however, may be your biggest issue.
For my part, I am honoured to be involved this year as a part of the committee, introducing the odd superstar poet and generally womaning the bookshop for good and not for evil.
I’m also delighted to be sharing the stage just the once as a performer at QPF with Tom Hogan, and sharing some space with you all via the installation, Side A, Side B.
Together, Tom and I have created two, joined literary meditations. Anyone who knows me personally will know that I am probably the least qualified person on the face of the earth to tell you or anyone else how to meditate, but hey, being underqualified has never stopped me before. And perhaps if you are to experience it, you will consider it not so much as an “expert guidance”, but an “inexpert muddling” through terrain that we may all confront at some point in our lives.
By way of introduction, here’s a little background:
There is a point in every literary festival when even the most dedicated attendee finds themselves in need of some quiet and introspection.
That’s where Side A, Side B comes in.
Combining the work of poet, Eleanor Jackson, and the music of guitarist, Tom Hogan, Side A, Side B is a ten-minute tandem meditation that uses poetic language for contemplation and respite rather than communication and intellectual stimulus.
Designed to be experienced by two people at the same time, Side a Side B asks only that you take a seat, choose a side and conjure up the face of the one you love.
Tom and I are anxiously awaiting the delivery of our precious vinyl and in the meantime, I am reflecting on the nature of perfection and imperfection. There’s beauty in inspiration, and I have returned from time to time to this short promo for a film, I’ve never seen, and don’t even know that I want to, but it has stayed with me, this idea of silence. I don’t know that I have made something as beautiful as this, but we have at least tried.
Eoghan is a sound recordist who is returning to Ireland for the first time in 15 years. The reason for his return is a job offer: to record landscapes free from man-made sound. His quest takes him to remote terrain, away from towns and villages.
Throughout his journey, he is drawn into a series of encounters and conversations which gradually divert his attention towards a more intangible silence, one that is bound up with the sounds of the life he had left behind.
Influenced by elements of folklore and archive, Silence unfolds with a quiet intensity, where poetic images reveal an absorbing meditation on themes relating to sound and silence, history, memory and exile.