Thursday, 17 March 2011


I woke up this morning and thought what the hell did I do last night? Don't worry I remember it all clearly, I wasn't very drunk or anything ... I was improvising! Something I'm not very used to. I've previously blogged about doing improvised workshops with the band 4thirtythree. But last night wasn't a workshop; it was a gig. People came to the Red Roaster and paid to watch and listen to us improvise.

Luckily the band 4thirtythree improvise all the time so they are used to it and they held the night together beautifully. And somewhere between the music there were words. Some of them fitted some of them didn't. I'm surprised how we managed to make the performance flow without any particular plan. Well some of us poets had brought material (either on paper or in our heads) so it wasn't totally improvised, but we did some collaborate pieces that were happening there and then and won't ever happen again.

Talking to a guy in the audience he said that he enjoyed some bits and found other bits painful. He thought our collaborate pieces worked best, when we only spoke for about 30 seconds each and then moved on to another person, creating a stream of words. Quite a fair comment I think.

I'm mostly happy what I did/said, but I also felt that I missed the "freshness" from the workshop where I felt more free as I had not brought any material at all. I'm still questioning what the hell I was doing last night, but I feel happy for the experience. A big thank you to Tom Cunliffe for putting it all together!

It has been great working with all those talented people: 4thirtythree, Annie, Yaz, Bernie, Alison and Tom.


  1. Hi Louise. Really enjoyed the gig last night. Good to be part of the gig with you and the others. I thought some of the work played out really well, especially some of the word streams. Yes, I thought the workshops were fresher and brought more exploratory work, but I guess that's inevitable as those day long sessions gave us more time to settle in. As you know, the bee in my bonnet, as someone who plays improvised music and who writes, is how to be as free with my words as I am with an instrument playing underneath my fingers. Still exploring! Will be posting about it later.

    Thanks again. Ax

  2. I enjoyed it too. I also thought the workshops delivered better material, although perhaps not as tight.