A mixed-media double bill of words, music and images featuring Roger West, Paul Gunn, Alex Metcalfe and Sarah Miles.
For the opening performance Roger West (voice) and Paul Gunn (piano) present Roger’s piece The persecution and suicide by society of Vincent Van Gogh as performed by the inmates of the asylum of Rodez under the direction of Antonin Artaud.
Antonin Artaud, the French surrealist poet and playwright, was incarcerated in an asylum in southern France for the duration of World War II. He had largely abandoned writing and the head of the asylum subjected him to electric shock treatment in an attempt to kick-start his creativity. The treatment only worsened Artaud’s condition. When he did start writing again he had discovered the paintings of Van Gogh whom he saw as kindred spirit, a fellow tortured genius who had similarly suffered at the hands of psychiatrists. In this reimagining Artaud is attempting to stage a play in the asylum using the inmates as actors, a play which deals with the suicide of Van Gogh…
For the second performance Sarah Miles (voice) and Alex Metcalfe (piano) present Splinters of Night.
With a projected backdrop of the sky graduating through the night, Splinters of Night features a sound collage of live piano pieces associated with dusk, the deep of night, and dawn, interpolated by poems reflecting on the journey of night and the summer solstice (on which date the performance falls). The music includes pieces from Schumann, Field, Chopin, Debussy and Messiaen, dovetailing with original poetry, which takes the audience on a sojourn through the depths of night, crescendoing into the glory of dawn.