I am currently working on an exciting project. Earlier this month Liz Johnson, a composer, contacted me regarding a collaborative project taking place on the 29th September, Elmslie House, Malvern.
I felt it was meant to be as I am performing in London (at Free Verse) at the end of the month and originally travel plans meant I would not have been available on the 29th, they changed and I am.
You know how I love poetry beyond the page, I eagerly agreed and waited to discover more.
Creative Synergy – Credo
It started with Dora Williams (Artist) inviting Liz to three collaborative sessions, at the time they had no idea what the outcome would be.
Liz Johnson © 2017
Liz’s award-winning Colwall Requiem for Aleppo became the central focus of the collaboration, with Dora creating new artworks inspired by Liz’s music. Now Liz has responded by composing a new work for solo viola Credo in which music from the Requiem is reworked and added to, inspired by Dora’s series of abstract paintings.
The violist Adam Römer, who performed at the premiere of the Requiem, has been working closely with Liz and Dora to create a major new work for solo viola
The performance will include discussions with Dora, Liz and Adam about the creation of the piece and the whole Creative Synergy project, and there will be opportunities for the audience to ask questions of the performer, composer and artist as part of the evening.
Elmslie House © 2017
The collaborative works of artist Dora Williams and composer Liz Johnson explore themes of migration and displacement, through art, film and music with Credo performed by Adam Römer (viola leader of CBSO) on the opening night.
The exhibition opens on Saturday 30th (10 – 4 pm) and runs until the 8th October. Details (Free admission 2.30-4.30pm).
This piece explores what we believe, with music from ‘Colwall Requiem for Aleppo’ inspired by the art work of Dora Williams, the plight of refugees, the Grenfell Tower disaster and what we consider to be ‘Home’. Worcestershire Poet Laureate Nina Lewis will read her own poetry and Liz, Dora and Adam will also discuss the creation of ‘Credo’, which centres around ideas of seeking/finding refuge. Artist Dora Williams has created a stunning new series of abstract works on this theme, on display at the venue.
To reserve your seat for the evening recital (29th September), please call Anna on 07789 470780
Tickets £10 on the door including a free interval drink
I have spent the past week filled with excitement in anticipation of creating writing for this opening event. I have a busy schedule at the moment and was still working on a WW1 commission (which entailed a lot of research and redrafting), now completed as well as Poetry Workshops when I agreed to this new work. I knew I had to shift my brain for Credo and needed a clear mind.
I like head space, the days spent thinking about a project before you dive in – it helps gather thoughts and those which manifest the deepest will stay and become part of the work.
The themes of migration and displacement are areas I have written about before. I could use a body of existing work, but felt this was not in keeping with the spirit of the collaborative project. I promised new work and set about creating it.
The performance itself is split into three sections, three themes. I have completed writing on two of them. Time wise I have perhaps one or two more poems to write before my set is complete.
I asked Liz to send information about the background of the piece, how it has been created and then I used a mixture of audio clips (mainly Requiem music) and images, including an original abstract by Dora Williams. I also used news articles and mirrored some of the instructions given to the musician, writing for the first time improvised poetry. Although, you could argue all poetry is improvised. Intentionally improvised, let’s say. It has been a rewarding process and I am thankful that I managed to find a block of time (in the middle of the night) to complete this work.
Liz Johnson © 2017