(...trucks never sleep: or hurt: I do...)
Tuesday 19 May 2009
Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen [Map]
David Liddell and Knotbrook Taylor on stage at Peacock Visual Arts
Photo by Anni Whitehead
The Night Mare V Fear of Intimacy was described as the ‘premiere of
a work containing contemporary words and manufactured sounds from poet Knotbrook
Taylor and sound artist David Liddell as they try in vain to dissect modern life
and tear out its guts’. Contemporary words and manufactured sounds. Hmmm.
Could be a nightmare, I thought.
However, the event was definitely a success. It was clearly well-rehearsed and the
two performers moved seamlessly around each other's space.
Knotbrook Taylor is a modern, experimental poet, who takes words and stretches them;
plays with them. He reads well and uses repetition to good effect. He appears to
argue with himself a lot. Five of the poems had ‘V’ (for ‘versus’)
in the title. I liked hearing the two voices of the performers in Cape Cod V thanatos.
Turns out David Liddell also reads well.
David Liddell's clever accompaniment of a range of sounds (Enrico Caruso played
faintly in the background and the sound of a distant piano I recall most fondly)
reflected the mood of the poems, adding to the atmosphere. The lines of unknown to
myself, the poet's response to witnessing a fatal road traffic accident,
were accompanied by discordant notes rising to an uncomfortable shriek. The sound
and words made me shift uncomfortably in my chair. Good poetry does that sometimes.
Knotbrook's poetry is complex and the handout at the start was helpful: the night
mare V fear of intimacy, for example, was about a young boy's fear of sexually
abandoned womanhood. Some of the meaning I might have got for myself. The Last Thing
I Read Was, about profiles on Match.Com, was fairly self-evident. The humour
appealed to me.
Other poems were perhaps a little too complex, the poet himself saying on one occasion
that he didn't really know what the poem was about. But did I have to understand
the poem to appreciate the sound of it? I don't think so.
I came away with questions. Who was the poet with the tattoo mentioned in Small Tattoos?
What were the last things that women on Match.com read? When would I get a chance
to hear Knotbrook Taylor and David Liddell perform together again?