MmM by Danni Spooner

MmM by Danni Spooner

where do performance ideas come from? where to start?

like most things in life, i cannot answer this in full. and i cannot answer it in short. so, what i will do is grab some coffee and attempt to give you some kind of insight into how the fuck to make work.

the sun, the leaves, the mind, the caterpillars, the winding endeavours of your parents DNA that you hold in your fingertips are all places where performance ideas can come from. they are also starting places. one thing that is also certain about these is that they are all big. massive. these things are all such big ideas and starting places that you are going to need a tip.

think of any of your initial ideas as THE MAXIMUM.

yep. they are the maximum because they are large. they are weighty and hold a lot of information already. information that you may not be aware of yet. information that needs to be delved into, explored, judged, made opinions of, let go, sieved, refined, redefined in your mind and then plop wow you’re at stage two of the tip.

so basically, stage one of the tip is a realisation. a realisation that your initial idea is THE MAXIMUM. because it’s massive. you couldn’t possibly start with such a massive idea. it needs to be simmered down, taken off the excitement overload boil and you need to take your favourite singular piece of rice out of the idea water and name it THE MINIMUM. that’s next. choosing your minimum.

THE MINIMUM is a specific and special aspect of your initial idea.

an example of this may be:

1. i want to look into technology
(has the realisation that technology as an idea is a MAXIMUM since technology as a subject area and idea is very large)
2. i want to focus on how people behave with the cameras in their mobile devices.
(for some reason this is your special focus and therefore your MINIMUM)

so your minimum is the piece of rice you take out of your idea water and all the other pieces of rice are other minimums that you are deciding to ignore because you just really love your chosen piece of rice.

getting to the minimum may be hard. it takes research, it takes enough guts to actually choose something and say “OKAY THIS IS THE ONE”. and once you’ve said such mighty fine words (words that i’m now going to refer to as the ‘call into making art work battle words’) you want to delve into your minimum and find another maximum.

this ‘another maximum’ is not the same maximum that you started off with though, so don’t be fooled or confused or even put off of by this tip. the second maximum comes from your MINIMUM. the second maximum is what you discover is inside your minimum. it’s the exploration of your minimum. it’s what you find out, it’s further research, it’s your process within your minimum, your relationship with it, you know.

finding this second MAXIMUM is a journey. you’ve chosen your piece of special rice and you’re going to put it under a microscope and find that it’s made up of many things. maybe you will enjoy this inspection. maybe you’ll regret choosing such a piece of rice and want to dive back into the idea water to choose another piece. but do not! keep with it! and if you’re enjoying it; good for you.

so to summarise, i guess, here’s the previous example developed:

1. i want to look into technology
(has the realisation that technology as an idea is a MAXIMUM since technology as a subject area and idea is very large)
2. i want to focus on how people behave with the cameras in their mobile devices.
(for some reason this is your special focus and therefore your MINIMUM)
3. my focus on ‘how people behave with the cameras in their mobile devices’ and I are going through a process. we’re learning. we’re discovering. and I’m going to use this well refined focus to create work (another MAXIMUM)

I hope some, if any, of that made sense to you. But, basically, MAXIMUM > MINIMUM > MAXIMUM.

It’s like that idea that we all have a universe inside of us, yet we do not realise the universe inside of others. just ourselves. or something like that.
your ideas are the same.
little rice universes. with galaxies inside.

GO EXPLORE.

Ninja Bob’s Top Picks

Ninja Bob’s Top Picks

### DISCLAIMER: NO EXCLAMATION MARKS WERE HARMED WHILST WRITING THIS! ###

 

Hello, my name is Ninja Bob, and for my blog I thought I would share a few of the things which I am currently listening to, and rate really highly!

1. Onra – Chinoiseries 3

Discovered this guy on the House of Verse trip to brighton… An exceedingly helpful record shop worker (bongo records btw) pointed this out and within about 30 seconds of listening to it I was hooked! The story goes that the guy went round Asia collecting records and other forms of music which he then digitised and sampled using an MPC.. Classic beat making and a great finish.. If you like J Dilla or Madlib I bet you will like this!

Best time to listen to this:

When you need some inspiration

Fav tracks:

Pearl Song

 

The Storm

 

 

2. Souljazz presents new york noise:

This album is a classic example of a vinyl collectors travails.. I bought this over 6 months ago from waxworks vinyl shop on queens road on a whim and it sat unopened for the best part of those 6 months! When I finally opened it I found an incredible collection of early/mid 80’s new wave/post punk tracks (think talking heads and poss a bit of LCD soundsystem). The bass lines on some of the tracks where so funky that I felt like I had been possessed by “old greg with his magical box of funk”

Best time to listen to this:

Getting ready to go out to a gig

Fav tracks:

Liquid Liquid – Optimo

 

Bush Tetras – Can’t Be Funky

 

 

3. Age of L.u.n.a:

Not got a fav album as they haven’t done one yet! But I have a great deal of respect for this Hip hop group hailing from London, their style is very much in the mould of ATCQ and other conscious Hip hop groups of the 90’s which is complemented by a beautiful female singing voice from Daniella-Louise Thomas. Not sure if they will ever make it big but it’s great to see a modern day uk act putting out this style of Hip hop.

Best time to listen to this:

Saturday afternoons

Fav tracks:

Blow Me Away

 

Feels So Good

 

 

4. Mr Jukes:

Found this gem on amazon when I was searching for funky/soulful stuff in the mould of childish Gambino and Anderson Paac. While it’s not as good as either of those albums (tbh not much is!!) the album I discovered was a patchwork of interesting ideas, great collaborations and funky grooves.. It’s an odd album in that it’s done by Jack Steadman from Bombay bicycle club, and includes Charles Bradley, De La Soul, Lianna La Havas, Bj the Chicago Kid and a few other guests! And it covers all sorts of genres ranging from Hip hop through jazzy electronica to funk and soul but it works which is all that counts!

Best time to listen to this:

Anytime.. It’s a classic all rounder

Fav tracks:

Angels / Your Love feat BJ The Chicago Kid

 

Someone New

 

(The original is actually better than this live version but i couldn’t find a link to it 🙁 )

 

Guilty pleasure:
Bruno Mars: That’s What I Like

Play this at the basement a lot, and everytime it gets me bopping.. I don’t care.. I LAV ITTTT!!!!!!

Fav banger:
Gotta be Phantasy & Macky Gee – Transition 

Starts off bouncy then gets even bouncier!

P.s.

I know I’ve neglected the indie/psych/shoegaze stuff on this list but I ran out of time, to redress the balance i will leave you with this this little number..

P.p.s.

Can’t do this blog without mentioning Too Many Zooz.. I supported them last week and they totally blew me away. It was like being at a rave, and they had the crowd completely spellbound for a full 90 minutes. Have so much respect for those guys and what they are doing.. There sister band Lucky Chops is rather good as well.. Check out this vid from them.

 

Much love to everyone. 🙂

 

Ninja Bob.

Why the Turntable is an instrument

Why the Turntable is an instrument

This is a subject I’ve found to be interesting, and I’ve mainly come across it via frustration. More and more people are using digital means to make music, and DJs are being inundated with the newest tech that can make their mixes/performances even more badass. There are now PGCEs that offer a teaching qualification in music where you can specify your instrument.

And this is where the hurdle starts.

I’ve tried to apply for such courses and roles but they won’t take you on if your instrument is the turntable because *quote* “It’s not a traditional musical instrument” *unquote*… I really do believe the principles and modules of these courses can be applied to turntablism, and I’m sure it has been done as well. Why are we still living in the dark ages when it comes to the curriculum?!

Turntablists have used scores and developed scratches in the same way people have learned piano and guitar. These days, to be brutally honest, ANYTHING can be an instrument.

EVERYTHING is an instrument.

There are videos of women using the water from rivers and seas as drums, link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7ba1CNOLiI

There are videos of people busking using pots, pans and buckets as their drum kit, link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk-q-TBdU4k

The things turntablists can do can be mirrored in traditional music performance, and vice versa. I guess because its original purpose was to be a device in which you play records, people are still having trouble seeing it as a music instrument STILL, even after all the technological advancement we’ve had. It hurts my brain, it really does. Look at the DMCs and what those crazy people can do on some 1210s! :

Jon 1st: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYKGgktOL_M

C2C: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP-86de-oUA

DJ Brace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44F0d2CbjM0

Regardless, thanks to people like Grandmaster Flash and others, and many more since then, the turntable has ultimately transcended its original role. Youtube is regularly updated with DJs and turntablists showcasing a new bit of kit and/or routine, further demonstrating its versatility.

This blog entry may go on forever, and it could to be honest since this is an area I’m looking expand on in my studies, but all I’m saying is that people need to recognise the no-longer-hidden power and versatility of the turntable, especially now that it’s evolved from simply being a music playing device.

Homeless Shakespeare’s WAVES

Homeless Shakespeare’s WAVES

Hello there, Homeless Shakespeare here to let you know about my second album “WAVES” coming out on December 28th…

 

It won’t be released like the conventional album though. This time round, it has 30 tracks for you to choose 10 from. These will all be available to listen to on my Bandcamp before December, so you’re not choosing your tracklist blind! The music, in true HS fashion, drifts through a bipolar ocean of rhythm & blues, jazzy hip hop, chilled folky tunes, grungy dirt-rap, orchestral electronica, gypsy jazz rap, funky soul, nonsensical and deep lyrical content, and obviously a bit more (I don’t want to give too much away). Basically, there’s plenty for you to choose from.

One of the more popular tracks, Burrowed In (which you can expect a music video for by the end of the year) is actually featuring on a Leicester Music Compilation album! Very exciting stuff, it’s gonna have around 30 tracks from 30 different bands and artists across Leicester, on two CDs. Siobhan Mazzei, The Brandy Thieves, Goldwater, Swinging Laurels, Red Bears, Out of Karma… So many incredible names on this project! And the artwork particularly looks awesome. So keep your eyes out for that. For now, that’s enough digression, back to WAVES…

 

Now, if you’re familiar with my first album, I do lots of CD designs…

(Sorry about the Watermarks. It’s easy enough to obtain and use my music, not gonna make the artwork as easy)

Though, after Politicalility, I realised it’s too time and resource consuming to hand draw each CD, so this time I’m going to duplicate a selection of designs each bunch – the first will be the chameleon, the vulture, and the elephants. As well as choosing your tracklist, you get to choose your design too! This option won’t be forever though, next year when I get working on my first full rap album, I’ll be appropriating tracks to designs (theme for theme, so on so forth).

The album will be launched at The Soundhouse on 28th December ’17. So far, we have hobo-blues maestro Dr. X and his array of home made guitars and the stylish rock’n’roll punks Jitterz on the line up, with more to be announced! It’ll be a measly £6 entry (for 5 acts and a 2am close), or you can bring clothes and/or tinned food to donate to homeless support organisations or free entry!

Be sure to like the Homeless Shakespeare page on Facebook and subscribe to the Homeless Shakespeare blog to keep up to date! Don’t forget to check out the tracks so far on Bandcamp too.

Cheers for reading, see you soon!

H.S.

Caravan O' Funk by Homeless Shakespeare

Convictions

Convictions

To anyone reading this…

Whether you be someone involved in performing arts or not, I feel as though this is a valuable lesson which could be carried over and utilised in every day life. Be it with your job, relationships, or problems that may come up on your journey through life.

There was a spell where I was tired of doing gigs. After doing roughly 2 gigs a week over a 6 month period, it left me deflated, and it was showing in my performances. I lost confidence in my art and myself as I felt disconnected to what I was performing. Art is always changing, flowing, and growing along with your character.

It was only with my last few performances that I realised what I was lacking. It was the way in which I approached the performance. I found that I stopped meaning my words. It was only when I stopped trying to sing or spit what I was presenting to the audience, and just SAY it, I found myself again.

“The audience, the world, and most important of all, yourself, deserve to have your art presented with your conviction and emotions.”

It’s deeper than singing or rapping; you’re presenting a part of you. A part of you that only YOU could ever present. Once you realise this and apply it to your mind set, you will find yourself being able to apply the passion you would often beat yourself up over following a lack-luster performance, transmitted through your words.
The audience, the world, and most important of all, yourself, deserve to have your art presented with your conviction and emotions.

You’re a step closer to being who you want to be with every performance. With all the hours you spend refining your craft and your ability, you owe it to yourself to ensure each performance is a memory for everyone present. Mean what you present, and present exactly what you mean!

Hayche GriiiM

Street Poetry Etiquette

Street Poetry Etiquette

So I’ve been making a pretty good living out of performance poetry for the last two months now… 

although it has taken a long time and the collection of a few different skill sets for it to have culminated like this. I discovered a passion for poetry combining my musical, choreographical and spiritual skills, but would not have the cajones to busk it in the street if I hadn’t done street charity fundraising.

This was where I learned to cope with rejection, which you get a lot of when wearing a charity jacket bearing an iPad. However, I was entraining myself to expand the concept into my own work; presenting myself well and pricing my poetry in a menu. All I do is wander the streets of a city or festival and ask if people would like a poem. I then present them with my menu, explaining the deals with books I can do and invite them to choose. At the moment I have a donation bracket – £3, £5, £10 specials (which come with a free book and a month long subscription to my website) and a £15 special. I can email the client a copy of the script and also sign them up to my ‘Pound a Poem’ service.

I would love to see other poets doing this,
but etiquette is key so we can maintain a good relationship with the public.

Here are some tips:

  • As soon as someone says no to you, don’t harass them. You can appear intimidating to other passers by.
  • If you dress loudly (which I do) be mindful of homeless in the streets and other buskers. I give to other buskers often to encourage the public to give, but I’m aware that I suck up all the attention in the street.
  • Do your poems for free for people who are in service (e.g. stewards at festivals, police officers, etc.)
  • Sounds obvious but regular sips of water are essential. I’m out between 6-12 hours a day and work to when my voice dictates.
  • Be mindful of the loudness of your environment. I wouldn’t start a poem if next to roadworks for instance.
  • I often get people say they have no cash on them. This is the main reason I have a donation bracket so I can perform some for free (it is still good marketing for you and you can always point them to your website). The next person might give you a tenner.
  • Record your work and have it available for people to listen to online, I use BandCamp (click to go to Rich’s BandCamp) so that my members can download them too.
  • Where possible allow your client to film your performance: they can tag you and share the video.
  • Possibly the most important advice I could give you would be to do street charity or door-to-door fundraising. If you can convince someone to sign up to a charity you should have no problem stopping them for poetry! Write your pitches into poems according to their briefs and you should have no problem.

So that’s about it from me. You can find my work, buy my books, and sign up to my online anthology ‘Richer and Richer‘ on www.richbutfamous.net (because I couldn’t get .not… geddit?), YouTube, BandCamp and on Facebook.

 

See you at a House of Verse soon, peeps!
– Rich Butnotfamous