Here is the link to a spoken-word sound piece I made recently:
Written by Emily Whitebread & Louis Joe Sainsbury.
Sound recording in collaboration with George Harding.
Instruments made by Kris Lock, Lou, George Harding and Jacob Woods.
Edited by Lou.
On Clutching – 7.6.17
A man on a train, perhaps in his 60’s, clutches the pages of a newspaper with the letters
I recognise these words instantly, no need for hangman. His grip pervades the words, and yet extends them, a grappling unconscious clench as he stares out of the window. His eyes on automatic, they dot as bushes fly and his hands still clench. His grip maintains a translucence, and yet, an solidified and shifting translucence. His grip covers the words and yet I still read them. His grip propagates this sentence whilst blocking it. His grip refutes these words, and within that refutation – grants them space to be examined-listened-watched. His grip extends the words, the veins and shadows leeching from the ink, curves of gaudy type to cuffed sleeves and perhaps I read too much into his grip; but when you clutch a fear mag with the words “GISTS” and “ROR” close to your crotch I know something must be up.
I stand there taking this photo. I think he pretends not to notice me, I’m wearing a dress I feel more visible than ever before. I’m also waiting to take a piss at the toilet door, so I don’t really care. I’m allowing myself to do two things at once.
“But the most beautiful thing about my burrow is the stillness. Of course, that is deceptive. At any moment it may be shattered and then all will be over. For the time being, however, the silence is still with me. For hours I can stroll through my passages and hear nothing except the rustling of some little creature, which I immediately reduce to silence between my jaws, or the pattering of soil, which draws my attention to the need for repair; otherwise all is still. The fragrance of the woods floats in; the place feels both warm and cool. Sometimes I lie down and roll about in the passage with pure joy. When autumn sets in, to possess a burrow like mine, and a roof over your head, is great good fortune for anyone getting on in years. Every hundred yards I have widened the passages into little round cells; there I can curl myself up in comfort and lie warm. There I sleep the sweet sleep of tranquility, of satisfied desire, of achieved ambition; for I possess a house. I do not know whether it is a habit that still persists from former days, or whether the perils even of this house of mine are great enough to awaken me; but invariably every now and then I start up out of profound sleep and listen, listen into the stillness which reigns here unchanged day and night, smile contentedly, and then sink with loosened limbs into still profounder sleep. Poor homeless wanderers in the roads and woods, creeping for warmth into a heap of leaves or a herd of their comrades, delivered to all the perils of heaven and earth! I lie here in a room secured on every side — there are more than fifty such rooms in my burrow — and pass as much of my time as I choose between dozing and unconscious sleep.”
The Burrow, Franz Kafka, 1931
We walked through Stanmer Park, I admit the metaphors from last night’s films were still drifting along in my mind, preluding choices for possible futures.
As we walked further, I began to feel an immense discomfort where we laid our feet. I could sense a sadness in the soil and some disturbed neglect about the plants that fell amongst each other.
The more we walked, the plants began to reveal themselves and appeared to be half dead. Tall bustling ever greens with sad empty branches. A brutal ask streak running through the growth in this forest, and childlike branches sprouting pure and frail fingers, as if an emblem of hope and recovery from this disease.
The soil seemed unbalanced and dry, as if something had infected this once joyous area. I then saw the leaves on the floor and grieved for each one of them.