Being all new and that we don’t really have many past productions to shout about. As we mentioned in our ‘About’ section, we came together as a band/company during Ben’s solo project ‘Everything We Need’ (which you can probably read about somewhere on his website), but it wasn’t really a Geddes Loom show. Prelude to a Number is our first one of those, and we talk about that quite extensively over on our ‘Current’ page.
But apart from all the gigs and festivals and front rooms we’ve performed in since we decided to join together and put ourselves through the singular and exquisite pleasure of Coming Up With A Band Name, there is one project we did that really helped us figure out what sort of work we want to make. In a way it was the seed of what we’ve gone on to do since with Prelude.
The project was called Phrased & Confused (a brilliant inititative that brings together wordsmiths and musicians, which you can read more about here) – or at least it was until they decided to make that year’s theme ‘Protest’ and changed it to ‘Phrased, Confused & Angry’ (for one year only).
In 2011 they offered four commissions to four artists to make a new piece of work that looked at the question ‘which came first, the music or the words’ and did so in response to the theme of Protest. Ben was one of the four artists approached and immediately felt it should be a Geddes Loom project, so we set about creating a piece that asked ‘if poetry became a person, what would it protest about?’. Temporarily taking possession of self righteous ‘conscious’ performance poet called Judge Jedi, Poetry railed against his uses and abuses in politics and advertising until Music came along told him to suck it up and stop whinging, they had a bit of a battle and Poetry slunk off with his tail between his legs. That was it in a nutshell, it would be better if you could just watch or listen to it really but unfortunately no such recording exists. Here’s a clip of Ben and Dan performing an extract of it at Bookslam though:
We performed the piece at Summer Sundae Weekender in Leicester, Interrogate Festival in Dartington and at Contact, Manchester, in the illustrious company of the other Phrased & Confused commissionees and their various collaborators, Yusra Warsama, Jason Singh, Laura Dockrill, Shane Solanki and Bellatrix. And an enormously fun time it was too. Thanks P&C(&A) – especially producers Matt Linley and Julia Payne, and creative consultant Stuart Silver.