Tag Archives: spoken word

Residency at Q-O2 in Brussels

Q-O2 residency
Residency at Q-O2. Portrait photo courtesy of Wendy Kirkup.

I’m delighted to be on a residency at Q-O2 in Brussels for two weeks. See more info at Q-O2.

My priority will be to reflect on Night Vision – a new work-in-progress originally developed at Rough Mix 2019 with Magnetic North Theatre Company. That residency culminated in a live performance….

Night Vision Performance Rough Mix 2019 Magnetic North
Night Vision performance, Perth Theatre, Rough Mix 2019, Magnetic North.

My reflections will focus on how Night Vision moves forward. If time allows, I will also continue working on a series of visual images that emerged from the source texts as a separate thread.

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Rays & Correlations

Rays & Correlations
Having some fun during a recording session.

Rays & Correlations  –  Radiophrenia 2019

Zoë Strachan and I created Rays & Correlations  for a live broadcast from the Radiophrenia studio on 15th May 2019. This is our third collaborative radio artwork. Previous works are In Transit and Static Flux. Static Flux was also originally performed as a live broadcast on Radiophrenia and  then selected for a Spoken Word live performance at Hidden Door Festival 2018 in Edinburgh.

Programme Note

Inspired by the patterns of cosmic ray interactions in a cloud chamber, we imagine the myriad signals and attempts at communication that might enter a sphere and intersect, cluster, miss or fade away. Rays & Correlations is a voice-focused improvised performance with layers of interactive soundscape. The listener is invited to find a thread to hold onto amid interweaving sparse and dense streams of words and evocations – and to decide whether the sound space is literal, as inside a kind of radome, or metaphorical – representing any individual consciousness trying to make sense of human connection.

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Night Vision

Night Vision Nichola Scrutton

The starting point for Night Vision is a series of non-narrative texts captured through an experimental writing practice in the middle of the night lying down in a semi-conscious, or liminal, state.

This is a very different artistic approach for me. Early inquiries were focused on selection, how to interact with the texts,  and what happens when these words/sounds are given voice off the page?

The work was initially developed at Rough Mix, Magnetic North’s creative development programme. The residency was held in Perth Theatre in January 2019. Big, big thanks to Magnetic North and the artists and performers involved in the residency. Thanks to Lorna, Neil, Ian and Laurie for the first performance sharing of Night Vision. And thanks to Lise for recordings, chat and tech support.

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Static Flux at Hidden Door Festival

Static Flux 2 Nichola and Zoë

Zoë Strachan and I performed Static Flux at the Hidden Door Festival in Edinburgh on 29th May 2018.

Static Flux is a sonic seance! In this spoken word/sound piece Zoë and I are exploring narrative and time through chance encounters with remnants, fragments and the ephemera of past lives.

Static Flux was originally created for a live studio broadcast for Radiophrenia in 2017.

LINKS

Hidden Door Festival:  hiddendoorblog.org
Our FB page: FB event page

Static Flux 1

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The Mark of the Beast review

The Mark of the Beast gets a ***** review

Presented by Martin O’Connor and Platform
Written and Performed by Martin O’Connor

With Nichola Scrutton and the North East Recovery Community
Platform, Easterhouse 13th-15th April
The Scottish Storytelling Centre 19th April

Inspired by Glasgow and its relationship with alcohol and addiction, Martin’s latest poetry performance The Mark of the Beast explores society through a prism of morality, temptation and family attitudes towards the ‘demon drink,’ and is performed in Martin’s recognisable blend of Scots and song, shot through with religious references and imagery.

The performance includes sound design created by Nichola Scrutton featuring personal experiences of alcohol addiction from members of the North East Recovery Community.

Creative Team:
Martin O’Connor – Writer and Performer
Nichola Scrutton – Composition/Sound Design
Fergus Dunnet – Set Design
Hana Allen – Stage Management
Davie Green – Lighting Design
Alan McKendrick – Directing Support
Eoin Carey – Image and Production Photography

Theatre Review – The Herald
The Mark Of The Beast
Platform, The Bridge, Glasgow

*****

“Whit ye huvin?” The voice has a chirrupy geniality to it: pure Glesca’ camraderie. “Ur ye huvin’ a drink or no?” The camaraderie is now teetering on the querulous, the aggressive even. Offence is on the verge of being taken, here. Minutes into this pithy, comedic, often harrowing monologue about various shades of alcohol addiction, writer/performer Martin O’Connor has wheeched us inside a pub, and into the core shorthand of belonging – of being a mate, a part of a community – that is inherent in the offer of a pint.

One pint… unseen voices chip in with memories of the wee swally that first introduced them – often, as far back as childhood – to the compulsive disorder of getting totally blootered. The recorded voices belong to Glasgow’s North-East Recovery Community: mixed into Nichola Scrutton’s chorale-cum-sound design, they will add personal witness to O’Connor’s tangy, savvy progress through the cumulative effects of long-term alcohol abuse. There’s the bilious heartburn of self-loathing, the upsurge of resolve – “Ah’m affit..” – and the lonely isolation of battling your demons when your pals remain in the boozer.

There’s a graphically vicious section when a posse of well-dressed lads become a pack of drunken thugs, relentlessly kicking a total stranger

just because… because he was there. It all sounds, feels, pungently real.

O’Connor’s talent for morphing social documentation into a bravura prose-poem pivots merrily on the rhythms of everyday Glesca’ patois, but – back-lit by designer Fergus Dunnet’s row of stained glass windows – he offsets the gallus patter with the soaring fire and brimstone of biblical texts, juggling revelations and hallucinations in a linguistic cocktail of those abiding havens: bevvy and religion. We laugh a lot, because O’Connor understands bathos but he never mocks the alcohol-afflicted, or diminishes their trials in what is a truly exceptional piece of work.

Read the review online

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Kate Briggs/Corner Corner Volta Flip

Corner Corner Volta Flip 2

I was delighted to collaborate on the audio form for Kate Briggs written piece Corner Corner Volta Flip, which was part of ‘How Forms Live’ at the Mitchell Library for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. The work was set up as a headphone installation in the Poet’s Corner.

Read more about Corner Corner Volta Flip

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Martin O’Connor/The Mark of the Beast

Mark of the Beast 1

The Mark of the Beast is a collaboration with writer/theatre-maker Martin O’Connor that explores issues/ideas around alcohol and addiction in Glasgow.

Between November 2015 to March 2016, Martin and I undertook a period of research and development, commissioned by GEAC Platform-to-Health and GRAND (Getting Real About Alcohol n Drugs). Working with the North East Recovery Community.

At that time, I composed a sound installation Good Days Bad Days, incorporating the many voices/stories of participant’s experiences. For The Mark of the Beast, I re-visited and re-composed that material for Martin’s live solo show.

***** The Herald (Platform Glasgow)
**** The Wee Review (Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh)

Performances

2018
13th – 15th April, Platform, Glasgow
19th April Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

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