Monday, 15 December 2014

Minimalism's all I'm capable of, which keeps costs down.

"Take what you've got and fly with it." Jim Henson said that.

My mate Paul Thompson also said something along those lines, and equally pithy. I was talking to him about how I wanted to make an album before the year was out, even though I couldn't play a musical instrument. We were crammed into the Players' Bar. Paul's a musician, but we've known each other from the London Dungeon for seven years or so. Here's something of his:

He'd asked me to appear as a post-apocalyptic clown (plus sundry other supporting characters) in a play he'd written for the London Horror Festival back in October. (I based my performance on the video at the bottom of this post, of Max Wall dying in Germany). It was Paul's first play as a writer, and it read like a dream in at least two senses. I reckon musicians are good at dialogue. Rehearsals involved a trip to his flat, a few ideas on how we'd perform these lines - who'd take what, and when - then just running this through, script in hand. Then having something to eat. The next rehearsal we'd try it differently... It was a very nice way to work, and when we finally came to perform "It's Only A Matter Of Time" in a pleasingly packed Etc Theatre a number of the things we attempted on stage had never been rehearsed.

 Photo by Lanna Meggy

But not so you'd know.
Anyway, as the pianist at the Players' launched inevitably into Rocket Man and those people finally left that table, Paul and I talked about making things and - I guess - mininalism - or at least the Mirroboy video, and how I only played two notes on the guitar and how that was one of the jokes, and he put something very important very succintly:
"It's about making it matter."
Well said, Paul. That's exactly it. Whether it's Galton and Simpson and a Sunday afternoon, Shakespeare and the verb "to be", a bowl of fruit, a wicker chair, the colour blue, or four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence and waiting for Godot, it's just about making it matter.
That's why I wanted to make an album in the first place, I think. I like writing lyrics. There are fewer words, and they matter more.
So I'd better get on with it.

Speaking of not much, shall we look at the rest of that aborted draw-a-monster-a-day project? Yes, they're dreadful. Let's get that out of the way.

Oh well.
Here's that video of Max Wall then.
Who knows how these things happen?

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