I have a guest post that’s a bit different today. I’m curious about creativity – how does it happen? I remember reading a study somewhere that debunked the stereotype on the lonely artist. Rather than toiling away in a solitary garret, the most productive ones were generally rushing around engaging in multiple projects and interacting with lots of people. So I was interested to hear about a collaborative project Stewart Tunnicliff’s been working on. Without more ado, here’s Stew to tell us about it.
Utterances at The Closest East to the Heart
A quote by James Earl Jones has resonated with me for years:
“One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.”
At secondary school I always wanted to be a writer, but could not find my voice. It took me at least another half a dozen years to actually find one. But then I misplaced it like an odd sock down the back of a sofa.
In March this year all that changed with the second public reading of my poetry at the “Leipzig Liest” event of the Leipzig book trade fair. The Buchmesse and Leipzig have increased their world fame with mentions in the New York Times and the Guardian newspapers. On the coat tails of this the Leipzig Leist organisation ran small reading events all over the city. The one I was part of was at Noch besser leben.
It all came together through the club I founded called LE Writers, where four disparate word-smiths met and came up with the idea of an all English reading for the Buchmesse – the first of its kind. This collaboration also included working with three musical artists, a multi talented musician and two opera singers.
We have coined a phrase as best to describe these kind of readings: a literary concert as it is a fusion of text and music that is more performance based than straight forward readings. They are also recorded to produce “audio books”
But let us go back to this notion of “voice” for a minute. I solemnly believe that this hodge podge group of ink squiqqlers and keyboard quiverers has two very distinct qualities.
Firstly there is the invigorating support you receive from like minds who are struggling with their own notion of ”voice” and regular expression. Also a single voice among many is not drowned or lost in the mass in this case but becomes a chorus of multi faceted tonal nuances.
The greatest thing for me is to have found a large part of my Personal Learning Network, where my voice can be heard by sympathetic ears. Likewise during the editing process of fellow writers I can see how adamant I am to retain my own unique voice and defend it from the wielded red pen.
As a disclaimer for this speaking ‘merican blog we have so far had no American voices in our writers’ circle, so cannot yet write about the American voice in this blog entry. This will change for “the Embassy of love” on the 20th May at our next performance, whereby we have two American writers contributing.
I will be intrigued to see how they add to the group voice and am also interested in all bloggers, writers out there and how you found or train your voice.
You can see an extract from one of Stew’s performance here and I’m hoping he’ll pop back sometime later to tell us how things are going with the new ‘merican collaborators.