Vanity Project Track by Track – Silhouette Cove

As a part of the launch for Vanity Project, I am writing a series of blog entries that give a bit more background detail and making of for each track. All these blogs will be collected together in the Vanity Project area of the site.

SILHOUETTE COVE

This piece started with an optical illusion. I was driving to work on the A38 in February 2015. Dawn hadn’t broken. There were these shadow clouds silhouetted against deep blue. The clouds traced the shape of an imaginary coastline. Instead of driving a dual carriageway on a slight upward incline, I saw that I was on top of a hill, somewhere in the south hams, heading down towards a secluded beach.

As I wrote the poem, I just thought Silhouette Cove was this imaginary setting where I could set some symbolic action. It was only at the start of this year that it occurred to me that this illusion could be taken as a metaphor for a world turned upside down.

 

Vanity Project Track by Track – Cold Calling

As a part of the launch for Vanity Project, I am writing a series of blog entries that give a bit more background detail and making of for each track. All these blogs will be collected together in the Vanity Project area of the site.

COLD CALLING

One of the foundations of Vanity Project is the idea that nobody needs this project but me, but I needed a lot. I showed my son The Muppet Movie recently and I’d forgotten about this scene.

Vanity Project is in many ways a promise I made to me.

So why publish? Because publicity is a core discipline of writing for me. Public/ity, as in the act of acting in public, regardless of how many people pay attention.

By choice, I don’t slam, I self-publish. I don’t do poetry competitions, I do open-mics. I’m conscious that this is a way that I hope to flow with, rather than stand out from, the oncoming tide of writers and performers. Cold Calling works on a metaphor that open-mic poetry is a little like telesales. You break in on someone’s life for a few minutes, call out of the blue, and try to pitch something precious. You dial and you hope they’ll be polite but the audience is in charge. They can hang up at any time.

And that’s just the way…

Watch Vanity Project here.

Vanity Project Track by Track – No Regret

As a part of the launch for Vanity Project, I am writing a series of blog entries that give a bit more background detail and making of for each track. All these blogs will be collected together in the Vanity Project area of the site.

NO REGRET

When I started to think about how I was going to film Vanity Project, I knew I needed an opening shot that would establish the idea of getting onto the A38. I planned that the film would be made up of 10 second clips, but I knew that the first shot was going to be a bit longer, and that the title card should appear after this shot. The shot itself was easy enough, taken on the Mannamead roundabout in Plymouth heading west onto the A38 on a sunny morning.

I knew I was going to need some kind of introduction music or fanfare, but I didn’t know what would work. No Regrets happened by accident. I was driving to Exeter one night for an open mic and I was listening in the car to a cd I’d burnt of some of my favourite songs. I was listening to Regret by New Order, but it kept skipping, and so I flipped to the next track. As I did this, something I’d never seen my car cd player do before happened. With skipping and repeating, the track started playing backwards. I quickly pulled in to a supermarket car park to see if it would do it again and it did, so I recorded a couple of minutes of the noise on my phone. A week or so later, I chose 5 or 6 loops from what I’d recorded and it came together.

I like the name No Regrets. It is partly an acknowledgement of where the track came from, but it also reflects the defiant side of Vanity Project.

vanity project title

TRACK LISTING AND START TIMES

TITLES / NO REGRETS – 00:00
COLD CALLING – 01:11
SILHOUETTE COVE – 04:17
FRIDAY – 05:57
EMBRACE THE GLUT – 08:53
EATING AN ELEPHANT – 10:59
HI – 13:47
HI VIS GHOSTS – 15:09
TRAPEZE ARTIST – 18:53
WHALESONG – 21:49
HOME 2 – 26:57
PENTECOST – 28:23
JUPITER – 32:28
GOOD FRIDAY / PERPETUA – 33:51

Please play and share widely. If you’d like to add a review, email me or contact by twitter.

 

Anthologia – Nature Edition

5-nature

I had two poems published in the latest edition of Anthologia magazine in July 2017. The theme of this magazine is nature.

My two poems were ‘Madame Chat’ and ‘Mirror Owl’. Both poems were written as a part of Vanity Project but did not make the final collection.

There’s also a great selection of Plymouth and South West writers in this magazine representing the diversity of the writing scene in this area.

Click the image for a link to the Anthologia website.

Apologies to Thom Boulton for the late posting of this link.