Archive for the ‘poetry’ Tag

London Poetry Systems Round Up

Back in October, London Poetry Systems collaborated with the Oxford University Poetry Society for (what we thought was) a one-off event in Oxford.

It’s now become a two-off. We’re back for Oxfringe on 11 April 2010.

Here are some of the better bits from our last show…

Will Stopha – This City is Larger than Life by Big Face Art on Vimeo

Huck – My Freedom and Me by Big Face Art on Vimeo

George Chopping – Wit off by Big Face Art on Vimeo

Henry Stead – Earth Too Soon by Big Face Art on Vimeo

Yo Zushi – ‘Eva’ by Big Face Art on Vimeo

Craft, England and Codpieces

You need not see what someone is doing

to know if it is his vocation,

you have only to watch his eyes:

a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon

making a primary incision,

a clerk completing a bill of lading,

wear the same rapt expression,

forgetting themselves in a function.

“Sext” (1954) by W.H. Auden.

england-murals

Tailored by England murals on Great Eastern St, London.

I think the gentlemen and gentlewomen at Umbro have hit on something. Their new England shirt has certainly garnered attention.

This little island was once a hub of craft and industry. By delivering “The right shirt at the right time”, Umbro have collared an inconvenient truth:

We stopped crafting – and started outsourcing.

That “rapt expression” of which Auden speaks disappeared from the face of the nation. And I couldn’t agree more with Umbro’s strapline – this is the right time to look back, and move forward.

New England Shirt – The Making of by umbro on YouTube.

A few weeks ago two Brits clashed in a game of Layer Tennis (massive props to Coudal Partners, the broadcasters and creators of the event).

What emerged from this riveting rally? For one thing, both Rex Crowle and Simon Cook were obsessed with… things.

We see “things” that are British every day. We use those things too. We may even keep them in our codpiece.

rex-crowle-layer-tennis

Layer 6 by Rex Crowle on Layer Tennis.

Somewhere in the twilight of late capitalism, we lost sight of those items on our kitchen table. The necessaries in our chest of drawers.

Cookie does a wonderful job of reviving that joy of craft and “things” at his blog, Made in England by Gentlemen – go check it out.

It was there, to bring this little ramble to an end, that I discovered his apt fondness for the work of Hwa Young Jung.

In her words:

“…if you’re English these are things you might have grown up with & therefore you feel is insignificant. They are new and fascinating to me.”

Fingers crossed, as they say, that fascination can return for English folks too.

tetley-tea

Tetley by hwayoungjung on Flickr.

Surprise! It’s A Live Feed

For the second deadly bout of London Poetry Systems we up-stepped the video trickery.

To create a mirror on the night, we concealed a camera on stage.

On cue – we pulled the trigger on the audience, and Yo Zushi, our sound man, became the live feed’s accidental star.

See what you make of Henry Stead performing ‘Copy Cat’…

If you like this, or any of the other LPS videos posted on this blog, why not join our Vimeo group?

All 3 from Henry

The three poems Henry Stead performed at the launch night for London Poetry Systems.

In order, they are:

– The Love of Phlebas

– A Visionary’s Visionary Vision

– An Ancient Process

Thanks to Kaara for her design work on Phlebas. All three visual scores were outputted through an Edirol V4 mixer, performed with motion dive .tokyo, and pre-produced in Adobe Premier and Adobe After Effects.

You can watch all of the poets on our Vimeo group site.

Live at the FleaPit Cafe

Videos from last month’s London Poetry Systems launch night at the FleaPit are now online.

Here’s Henry Stead performing ‘A Visionary’s Visionary Vision’.

We spent a few weeks working together on each of his poems, and this live audiovisual performance is the product of those experiments.