Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Walls have ears

Behind the pub, a potholed car park of sharp cornered loose flint leads you there, into the welcoming fold of workshops. Two low stories with uneven planked stairs, pale green wood, faded and cracked that looks like it was once down on the harbour in the full blast of sun and salt spray. All quiet, sheltered from the street. A row of spaces that each hold their own wonderful worlds.

I stand looking at all the scruffy closed doors, hastily scrawled numbers for the postman and handwritten messages to drive away unwanted visitors and nosey pokes, feeling at home.

When you show me your new space, I feel I am somewhere I always wanted to be. A large mostly empty cube of a room, a smaller studio with work desk and equipment and a tiny live space where I will play. All calico and brown paper.

Something cave like and elemental about the space where I'm playing. A floor lamp casts an orange glow across a stretch of white bare plaster that looks ancient. Even before I put bow to string, I know the room is already listening. We won't need any trickery here, just pure sounds. 

The first take sounds good, but then you ask me to turn a certain way so that the back of the instrument is facing that wall. Suddenly, heaven floods in and I can feel the sympathy between this little room and the instrument in my hands.

I feel the violin throw open it's voice, let's the music take flight and all in the same moment, this strangely beautiful old wall embraces those sounds, yields to their fleeting touch. I am dizzy on these sounds, lost in the blurring optical maze of soundproofing zigzags seen up close that cushion the other walls.  As the second track knits in with the first strange harmonies begin to emerge, harmonies that seem to resonate with their own history, and not mine.

Within the hour I am out on the main street, out in the rush and push of noise and traffic, job done, everyone happy. Already, I'm wondering when I can return, knowing that the wall has drunk in my sounds, absorbed them into it's own resonant body, made them part of it's own history that will shine out in our music next time.