June 26, 2019
A band - led by the voice-like cello and saxophone - “read” improvised audience writings from their music stands. The audience and the musicians go back and forth in conversation with one another, feeding each other's writing/playing with improvised playing/writing.→ for a more detailed rundown of the concept click here
In this case the first performance was in response to the artworks in the exhibition NOCTURNE, instead of to pieces written by the audience. For subsequent performances it reverted to normal.
A selection of writers were invited to respond on the night and are credited on this page, but moving forward with the concept we have chosen to keep everyone anonymous.
There was no saxophone in the lineup, instead we had a trio comprised of cello (Emma Barnaby), violin/viola (Evie Hilyer-Ziegler) & piano (Francis Devine).
The responses to the fourth performance were done remotely via our monthly radio show, instead of live on the night (we forgot).
Made in collaboration with Gobjaw Poetry (Marta Zenka & Lewie Magarshack), upon invitation by NOCTURNE artists Oliver Pearce, Peter Carrick & Jeremy Stokes.
Recorded live at 226 Rye Lane, London, released worldwide on 18th July 2019.
Album cover by Joseph Bradley Hill featuring some "unwritten" parts from the responses by Marta Zenka, Dougal Verinder Gedge, Oliver Pearce, Peter Carrick & Hannah Machover.
A selection of scans of the writing by the audience in response to the first performance of the night (handwriting has been replaced by text for legibility, with all extraneous mark-making retained):
Transcriptions of the written responses to performance one (all writings were submitted anonymously bar initials):
the things scattered under the moon
were only silence
or, well, other things also:
the crisp shadows of what were olive trees
that filter away down from the mountain ridge
toward the sea, the white fronts, the little waves,
whose sound you imagine as quieter than it
crashing and actualising the rocks, whose miniature
lagoons find crabs fluttering, the apparatus of
some terribly dramatic nightmare, fluttery,
prehistoric bat then also, fleshy, unfortunate,
and creaking, - remember, they have eyes -
like the configuration of things you know
will happen just a few minutes from now -
wire me up
sit still bristles and burrs
by the lilies an insect on
my legs were cold
and salt Grecian
on my hips surge
a cultivated spin
a lark cried
in the meadow corner pulse between
FICKLE AND TENDER ARE
THE EDGES , I CLING
Lest the night end
What resilience is such
a hardy tone that one trunk
or branch may question a
true-meant advice parcel?
I think probably the negligent and
the orgiastic should have a
bath sometimes, in other words.
It was syndicate ————
Pushing around around the stars
slipping on butter con-
-vulsing whispering shh. shh.
SHHH hunt me
They said hunt me
I swim in oceans in salt
lakes in rivers I beat
currents I live in moments
I let my body become
more more ————
— i can hold ———— it
THERES THIS MOONFLOWER LIKE
NOCTURNE’S CROCUS RESIDING IN
AN EBONY LIP OR
ALL THESE TAUGHT STRINGS I
AM SPILLT I
AM FULL OF IT I
CAN’T LILT HERE
IN FULL SIGHT OF AN
ARMY OF DUST BUNNY HONIES
I CAN COPE
TAKE FLIGHT AND
FIND A NEW DOGGERLAND
I CAN CHANGE
PUSHING UP AGAINST PORES
THE MELODY EXCRETES ITSELF
IN QUAVERS AND QUAKES
DROWING IN LOST SCALES OF
BLUES, TERRA-COTTA OR
STOP CHEWING AND SPIT IT
OUT IN POPCORN
Hieroglyphic curtains uncovering a chaosmos
Diagonally face the punch & judy abyss
Neighboured by a field calling a boy calling,
And a human pouring water on a decision
to push a blue or red button
Bled to liquid enthused architecture amiss
* proturbingly found enthralling, “unself!”
Viola & cello centred by a Nord Piano
Pianist sprouting sunflowers
Outing won powers diagonalling
graphs of light;
an eatery, a field:
wielding a beatery next to
A selection of scans of the writing by the audience in response to the second performance of the night (handwriting has been replaced by text for legibility, with all extraneous mark-making retained):
Transcriptions of the written responses to performance two (all writings were submitted anonymously bar initials):
rush to the plinth
and dwell amongst
blue triangles ,
pulling at their
skirts and the the sweltering
quiet of lines come
to meet you,
gather keys and
plant them in every snag at your
If you look
do not struggle , long enough
tousle them at that
play and meet the
other side it twists and
pity the bottom of
these doors, always
St Denis burned 2 months ago? The light
from her tower [could not be seen
on the moon, but] she felt it.
Funny that only one person found the
My tectonic plate shifted that evening
I wanted it to.
Downstairs they only heard sentences
that didn’t end.
The stairs become richer and more
flat. Housed by soil 89 years later
or eroded and worn, stuck in a
so. possessive. so selective.
only mud, no sweet grass. But that was how
In obscure halls and corridors
some lost crumble, some lost island outpost —
I move, and within the air and the wood,
there is a sinuous expansion, a completion of
the trembling space among the sections of my body.
A shallow light is erected along the angles of the
wall; I have caught a window.
Outside there is nothing, I promise, except the
landscape, and the million-division tumult of the rain, vague
I do not find it ominous, but nonetheless it
is unbearable; it sees in itself the violent
extension of everything - the moon under which
everybody on earth, in all their positions, find
themselves - everything outside where I am, the
blueprint of every movement ever made, there is the
tree, swaying. - never mind, it doesn’t suit me,
I shouldn’t think too much, well, about these
things, it makes me so ill.
AND the sun collapsed
melted into puddle
T H U N D E R
THE GULL +
In the crease of
‘tween the sea and
though it wished
A selection of scans of the writing by the audience in response to the third performance of the night (handwriting has been replaced by text for legibility, with all extraneous mark-making retained):
Transcriptions of the written responses to performance three (all writings were submitted anonymously bar initials):
when I speak in Lyrical toung
I spin storys not yet begun
some are new or is it old
try do what you’ve been
screech and scratch, like
a cottage roofed by thatch.
an itch that spreads like
butter on my leg n
moving north to my
Dench teeth abduction by
——— the un cooth
under the ocean things can shudder sometimes,
and crack, did you know?
Trust me, I do, and be sent apart, and
shatter, and split, even though they are
iridescent, and smooth and nimble
there are, also, I think, waterfalls under the
a grain of sand, having many surfaces, reflects
light both this way and that, and this! and that!
and has meanwhile the vanishing point of
impossible masses in its ridiculous hidden
centre, or, maybe, I imagine, maybe
If the cuttlefish, the sea slug and the barely existent plankton, all of whom have tea and
biscuits at four and then kill each other - if they
don’t care, then, I don’t imagine you should either.
salute the gate as the sky
clears your brow
Does that w?isp of
a cloud tell you —
drag your feet?
tickled by the storm and the way
flies tread on pages
itching to point out
the flaws and how
best to wipe up
the spilt and the stains
rumbling strain secretes a honey
that anoints trembling palms
\ all to endure the
finer threads, the
bringers of long days
and fuller evenings
calculate the trickles and it will
give you the form.
Drowned and dangled in ash, white
Dressed ready to pour the inches around
the shoulders globed and ankles
pricking eyes dry from so much
Run out of soap.
Cleaning the branches. Snow for
Sheep to tread lightly on
and cheese for rich men to
gauge on in marble kitchens
with digital flames warming
the glass and their bones.
My thoughts in your minds.
HE CAME HE SORE A CONKER
NOT SOME PONCE, NO PLONKER
JUST A PLAN OF MAN SPLAYED
PUT PAID TO MY RUBBER MISCHIEF
THE MUSIC DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE
TO MEAN THERE’S PORTENT IN
PLANT POTS AND HEAVY TOPS —
SO STOP AND HAVE A WEE PIDDLY
COP A FEEL OF SOMETHING BLUE
AN’ AIRY FROM ME THE
SUGAR BUGGER ( BUT LET
ME TELL YA KIDDA, IT’LL NOT
A selection of scans of the writing by the audience in response to the fourth performance of the night (handwriting has been replaced by text for legibility, with all extraneous mark-making retained):
Transcriptions of the written responses to performance four (all writings were submitted anonymously bar initials):
Her body, sloped in the crease
between the dust lining your gums
and the gaps between your teeth.
She lies on the padding of your anxious cheek walls.
It is not raining today
but the bathtub is full.
Spit - spraying off the lip, a
scattering not too far from here
carving space, sending future lines
to their shoulders,
right shoulder only, mind,
left lost itself about 17 minutes ago.
You have travelled here
only to find lots and lots of dust,
It could be mistaken for sand,
but just try eating it -
moving like currents,
swarming to the crevasses,
there are no corners
and it takes root,
this dry scratching
the violin is scratching curving
stretching into my ears my moves;
it is anticipation
is the moment
you want to reach out and call-
it is the first time
last time you you you
felt and it wrapped me,
back of my neck burning slow,
strings strapping me tight
to the side of the bed
sitting on the floor
radio on the bed behind my head-
There is a clamour and a wind blows
as a girl enters in cool blue
no, maybe pink-red taffeta like
she takes her bow, strikes,
there is something about the violin that hurts/holds,
it is quickening feet sore
from hurtling undulating
floor giving way to-
ten minutes in and vibrato calling takes me; I could be in the studio
but I’m knelt in a church
the sky pink-red through pulsing glass
and it’s been raining,
congregation a little sodden,
making haste to pews
hard cold, the church tiles are hard, hold,
I wonder - does the Eucharist judder
in its own grip,
hard cold, the church echoes
the church is arms fingers strings
a little warmth at the edges,
candles in a tabernacle
is a cradle
is a rocking
to and fro
burnished patina takes,
arms take draw in, ease
the girl in taffeta curves,
I imagine, rocking to and fro,
her finger pads sore as
she too cradles
violin to neck -
there is something about strings that hurts holds restless,
there is something that quivers, quickens me
push-pulling tightening, it is
how I imagine epiphany
imagine an entity I can wrap pull stretch -
- moved, the congregation look
to each other,
lower lashes lower heads,
let rain touch tiles, reverberate, exhale
on their heels to and fro
from the pew before them
the church is cold and echoes,
unfolding refolding binding,
the church is nails, wicks, deep space
is long drawn breaths before the body,
rattling, it is, was,
there was a clamour undoing
a congregation, folding into
pews’ straight backs
into wavering candles
unfolding to a hush of clerical prying
clerical, prayer -
folding unfolding, a hush holds restless,
‘after the pyre’
Trains move on train tracks,
A flock of birds take off
from a tree,
with hands needing flour.
Red apron, pink with flour.
Red flour blends with milk.
A glance unsure, given to the night,
for there are red wolves in the woods.
Their eyes are very reflective.
The man in the hut warms his toes
by the fire,
a thick fur round his neck.
A bright green leer
In some other place a being enters a house,
his scaley body makes the floor creak
he is that heavy.
He is hungry and his claws scrape through and down the hall, he drags his tail behind him.
His belly is the softest part of him
he knows this as none are able to get too close.
Metal crafts shove buildings aside.
Mouth opens underwater to scream,
a million bubbles spill out,
the sound turned into circles.
Asleep in the leaves, cheek pressed
Body washed up,
no sign of a name tag.
I’m walking through the building now,
white walled porcelein hospital,
There’s noone in any room.
Penny’s dropped, I am embalmed.
I must be embalmed
but my cheeks are rosy red.
a ballroom dance,
glance to the left,
glance to the right.
My legs and feet are never where
they’re supposed to be.
Cars pile through the underpass,
cats eyes turn them into rhythm,
a chugging drone, wheels dragged
over dotted surface.
Bring it over into the light so I can see better.
‘It’s been raining all day’, she says.
- I didn’t notice.
‘That’s because you haven’t moved.’
-Bagpipes, I’ve been researching bagpipes.
I’ve always wondered how they work, and why
they’re so loud.
She’s already left the room.
They’ve been making eyes at each other
over the campfire
all night apparently,
What are they going to do about it?
Oh wait, I looked away for a second
she’s been eaten by a shark,
he fell asleep on the beach.
Rabbits race across the field,
a lone boot lies squelched into the mud.
A door left ajar.
Blackbirds scrap over a milk crate
on Bus Queue Anorak Thursday
That bloody automatic handbrake!
It’s a busy time to be
idle to be busy
:) Steady, lad
it’s like that time in
A selection of scans of the writing by the audience in response to the performances, which were handed in without numbers (handwriting has been replaced by text for legibility, with all extraneous mark-making retained):
Transcriptions of the written responses that were handed in without a performance number (all writings were submitted anonymously bar initials):