Wordfringe 2009Programme StrandsEvent Calendar




1st–31st May 2009


Makar Making
First Friday Fling with Janis MacKay
Pushing Out the Boat
Night at the Light
From Pennan to Penang
Trio Verso
Demented Eloquence Tag-Team Word Wrestling
Prometheus: A River Stained with Iron
Cream of Strathbogie
Expect the Best: Elspeth Murray
Speak Volumes
Coming Home
Double Launch
The Night Mare V Fear of Intimacy
In Search of Salt (Ellon)
In Search of Salt (Aberdeen)
John Hegley
Drawing out the Creativity
Fredrik Sixten: Requiem
The Word Birds
Voyager Poets
Not Drowning but Waving
Fresh Ayr
Young People's Poetry Competition Prizegiving
Closing Verses

The Night Mare V Fear of Intimacy

(...trucks never sleep: or hurt: I do...)

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen [Map]

Part of New Words / New Sounds

The Night Mare V Fear of Intimacy

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?

E. E. Chandler

Promoted by

Spring Tides Poetry Group

Supported by

Peacock Visual Arts
Aberdeen City Council



Wordfringe 2009Programme StrandsEvent Calendar


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