Tag Archives: The Alibi Room

SpeedPoets: last drinks for 2009

If you are anywhere near Brisbane this coming Sunday (November 1), and you like your poetry live, then head along to SpeedPoets. This Sunday brings the curtain down on the events eighth year and there is no plan of slowing down… SpeedPoets will take a break over summer and return in March 2010, well rested and hungry for your words.

SpeedPoets Gimp

To take us out for the year, there will be features from Jeremy Thompson & Brent Downes, live music and sounds from Sheish Money, free zines, giveaways and a surprise performance by one of the acts that had the audience raving after QPF’s Saturday night event A Million Bright Things. And of course there is you, giving voice to your poem in the Open Section and keeping the event vibrant, diverse and full of fire.

So pack your poems and be part of the celebration this Sunday, November 1 from 2pm at The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St, New Farm.

I’ll see you there…

 

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SpeedPoets & other Brisbane Poetry Gigs

SpeedPoets Logo

 

Don’t forget that SpeedPoets takes over The Alibi Room tomorrow for their annual Open Mic Championships… should be a great afternoon. Check out all the details tomorrow as well as lots of other upcoming gigs.

Sunday August 2
 
This is the big one folks! SpeedPoets fires up for its yearly Open Mic Championships, so make sure you are at The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St, New Farm) from 2pm to put your name down to be in the running for some cool prizes including $100 first place, $50 second place + a whole range of giveaways. But most importantly, we want you there to share the spoken word love.
 
The rules of engagement are simple:
 
* There are 20 places available in the Open Mic Championships
* Sign on will take place at The Alibi Room between 2:00pm – 2:30pm or until the 20 places are filled
* Each poem read/performed must be the poet’s original work
* Each poet has 3 minutes to read/perform their poem (one poem only)
* If the poet goes over the allocated time, they will be notified and given 30sec to finish their poem.
* The poet may not use props or musical accompaniment.
* 5 poets will be selected to read in a second round
* Poets selected for the second round will be allocated 6 minutes to read two (2) poems
* If the poet goes over the allocated time, they will be notified and given 30sec to finish their poem.
* Judges will then select a first and second place (with prizes for the runners up)
 
Please note: these rules may be changed at the organisers discretion and judges decision is final. No discussion will be entered into.
 
And to add to the fun, our monthly riff generator, Sheish Money will be bringing some friends from his band Namedropper along to play a set of songs from their forthcoming CD.
 
As always there will be free zines and the monthly raffle. Entry is a gold coin donation. Don’t miss it!!!
 
SpeedPoets, 2pm Sunday August 2, The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St New Farm)
 
 
 
Thursday August 6
 
Put some poems in your pocket and head on over to Cafe Checoco (Hardgrave Rd West End) for Poetry Soup. Plenty of Open Mic and jamming opportunities for all comers! The gig kicks off at 7:30pm and is a free event.
 
 
Wednesday August 19
 
THE SUITS SLAM OFF

ouTsideRs cordially invite you to THE SUITS

+ the AUSTRALIAN POETRY SLAM – BRISBANE HEAT 1

 ‘One of the most bizarre and brilliant live music events Brisbane is likely to witness this year.’ ouTsideRs Time Off review 

‘An idea that is not dangerous is not worthy of being called an idea at all.’ Oscar Wilde 

Following on from blowing Hunter’s Ghost at The Globe, Beau Brummel’s beckoning you to get your best suit on (bathing/business/birth/track, what have you) and get ready to kiss buttons as we present our second MASSIVE ouTsideRs show of 2009, stuffing David Byrne shoulder pads and Poetry Slam into the Ladies’ Lounge that is The Troubadour. Funded by the fine croupiers’ pockets via the Gambling Casino Benefit Fund, this night will be a three-piece American box cut with the best BrisVegas wordsmiths venting their hearts and words on lapels for all to wear and hear! 

Featuring track-suited drop six house band & their John Butler award winning hip-hop soul Impossible Odds,  the contemporary double breasted chicanery of MAJIK BOX and QLD slam spoken weird suit-master of ceremonies Ghostboy with well groomed word mannequins  Tessa Leon & Pascalle Burton….plus the usual ouTsideRs dandy madness! 

And this show sees the start of the Australian Poetry Slam presented by The State Library of QLD –  in true two-tone style, tailored lines and all. Two minutes to “hit The Troubadour mike and let the words take flight” as part of Australia’s biggest spoken word competition – where the audience is the judge! It’s a Rat Race, the first 20 to sign up on the night will compete. For full event & slam details head to: www.slq.qld.gov.au/poetryslam

ouTsideRs/Australian Poetry Slam Heat 1
The Troubadour
Wed 19th August
8pm doors / 8:30pm start
$5 entry / prizes for best use of a tie… Suits you, Sir, oooh!
www.outsiders.com.au

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Welcome, Hinemoana Baker

Well, Hinemoana Baker’s residency has now officially begun!

photo by Andrew Dalziel

photo by Andrew Dalziel

Last night Hinemoana’s official welcome was held at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. Kate Eltham Mc’d the evening, Indigenous leader, Sam Watson welcomed Hinemoana to country,  Theodora Le Souquet (QWC Chair) launched the residency and I was honoured to be invited to perform a short reading and welcome Hinemoana to the stage. My reading closing with a rendition of the great New Zealand Poet, Sam Hunt’s, Coming to it.

Hinemoana’s performance to close the night had people hollering , stomping and calling for more. Her words conjuring images of family, place, pub sound checks, rugby and awkward moments at the highschool ball. Her voice, so well described as:

a fine wine of a voice… rare, exquisite, the sort found hidden in some wine-nob’s cellar. The sort you might buy once in a lifetime, just for a taste of how the other half lives’.

In short, it was something special… and for those who missed out, never fear, you have the opportunity to catch her this Sunday at SpeedPoets (2pm – 5pm @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St. New Farm).

And while Hinemoana is in the country, take the opportunity to meet up with her and share your words.  When in Brisbane, Hinemoana is available to meet with poets for consultations from 2pm-6pm daily. To arrange a consultation, feel free to email her at hbaker@qwc.asn.au. If you work or study full-time and need to meet with her outside of these hours please let her know when you email.

So, to get a bit more of a taste of the magic that is Hinemoana Baker, check this out performance of He Tuahine.

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Brisbane Poetry Gig Guide – May 15

Saturday May 16
 
Words or Whatever – Performance poetry @ Blackstar Cafe 44 Thomas St West End from 6:30pm.

Featured acts this month include – Dissent of Didymus, Darkwing Dubs, Luke Townson + Special guests including some non english speaking poets.

As well as these awesome acts, we wil have our regular features including ‘Words of Honour’ (tribute pieces to great wordsmiths) &  ‘Words-worth’ – Live Poetry Auction. 
 
 
 

Saturday May 23

No Frontiers: a multi arts performance event featuring music, poetry, prose and visual arts.      

3–4pm at the Museum of Brisbane Gallery 3, within the Brisbane City Hall, (through main entrance and turn left – follow signs), King George Square, Adelaide St, City.
 
Featuring:

Jena Woodhouse –  performing poetry on some vanished homes of Brisbane

Jack Sim – telling stories from the shady side of Brisbane’s ghostly past and ghost tours present; and
 
Peter Green and the Midnight Prophets – playing music of midnight, travellers cheques, a North Ryde girl and dancing skeletons.

 

Sunday May 31
 
Ahimsa House proudly supports the local community-based poetry group in West End—The Kurilpa Poets. The next gig is Sunday, 31st May 2009. Time: 02—04.30 PM at – The Emma Goldman Room – at Ahimsa House, 26 Horan Street West End (opposite the West End State School). Everyone is welcome. Murri and Koori poets please join in!

Our feature poet for May is Rhys Rodgers. Rhys is a dynamic young performance poet who has been performing poetry for the last few years, and has already gained a substantial following in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast. He won the Love Poetry Hate Racism Open Mic competition, and The SpeedPoets Open Mic championships in 2008. He was a finalist in both the Nimbin and Woodford poetry slams in 2008. He has also been invited interstate to run workshops on cultivating meaningful relationships with imaginary friends. Come and be dazzled by his brave naked words. Mostly loud, sometimes soft, but always saturated with feeling. Don’t miss a sensational performance from one of Queensland’s rising young stellar poets!

 
Sunday June 7
 
SpeedPoets is back for Round 4 of 2009! Be there as Brisbane’s longest running spoken word/poetry event takes over The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St. New Farm) on Sunday June 7 from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. The June event features the soaring soundscapes and experimental blues of Bremen Town Musician. Their new album No One Is Holding A Gun To Your Head (Songs To Run To) was one of my favourite releases from 2008, a real album of discovery. And just to mix things up a little and showcase her diverse talents, Marisa Allen (Bremen Town Musician) will also read from her debut collection Fire in the Head and other works. To round off the afternoon, winner of the 2008 Ipswich Poetry Feast Mentorship Prize, Robert Bos will step up to the mic for his SpeedPoets debut. And as always there will be live sounds from the SpeedPoets poetic riff generator Sheish Money, giveaways, free zines and two rounds of Open Mic. Entry is a gold coin… See you there!
 
SpeedPoets, Sunday June 7 @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St. New Farm. 2:00pm – 5:00pm.

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Some photos from SpeedPoets

Today’s SpeedPoets has got me on a high! Each of the feature artists were superb and the 2nd Round of Open Mic backed by our very own poetic riff generator Sheish Money was blisteringly good.

Here’s a few photos from the day…

 

darkwing-dubs

DarkWing Dubs in full flight, spitting rhymes that spark.

 

skye-staniford

Skye Staniford mesmerised the crowd with her hauntingly beautiful voice.

 

pru-gell

Pru Gell performing under the watchful eye of ‘The King’.

 

The next SpeedPoets will be held on Sunday May 3 from 2pm at The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St. New Farm).

 

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For the love of Zines

Today I picked up issue 8.2 of the SpeedPoets Zine from my local copy shop. I love the moment of anticipation as the zines are handed over in a sealed copy-paper box. Then, like a mouse in a cheese factory, I peel back the lid and sneak my first glimpse of the issue. Of course, I know full well what the zine will look like, having designed the cover and all, but that moment is something I look forward to every month. It’s a little burst of wonder that immediately gets me thinking about the next zine… a moment of excitement and inspiration.

 

scan0002

 

Of course once you have the zine, you need to get it into the hands of eager readers… so for all those people out there wanting to get a look at issue 8.2 of SpeedPoets, get yourself along to the gig tomorrow at The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St, New Farm) from 2pm and pick up your free copy.

And as the April Zine is now complete, I am looking for submissions for the May Zine… so if you have a few poems sitting around, gathering dust in your bottom drawer/notepad/hard drive/ etc… and want to find them a good home, then consider this:

Send two (2) poems to me in the body of an email titled SpeedPoets Submission to: geenunn(at)yahoo.com.au. SpeedPoets is looking for work that is bold, passionate and unrestrained. Words that pull you close then touch you inappropriately…

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

And If You Are Into Zines These Places Are Worth Checking Out…

On my recent trip to Melbourne, I had the joy of discovering Sticky Institute. Check out their site (and better still if you are in Melbourne, drop in) as they are willing to stock zines in all shapes and genres. Another great resource if you have a zine and want to get it into circulation is Bird in the Hand. I hadn’t yet discovered Bird in the Hand, but came across it in a great article called Zines and the decay of modern civilisation in the new look QLD Writers Centre Magazine. The good folk at QWC have revamped Writing QLD and I have to say the first issue (the DIY issue) is superb.

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Brisbane Poetry Gig Guide – March 25

Saturday March 28

Under a Daylight Moon returns to Novel Lines Book Shop, 153 LaTrobe Tce, Paddington from 3pm with feature readings from Ron Heard (tales of Homer creating himself) and Pam Schindler who will be previewing her debut collection. There will also be live music from Mark Shorts and a haiku reading by this Lost Shark (see yesterdays post – haiku + haiku reading). Entry is free but buskers rules apply. See you there!

 

Sunday March 29

Ahimsa House proudly supports the local community-based poetry group in West End—The Kurilpa Poets. The next gig is Sunday, 29th March 2009. Time: 02—04.30 PM at  – The Emma Goldman Room – at Ahimsa House, 26 Horan Street West End (opposite the West End State School). Everyone is welcome. Murri and Koori poets please join in!
 
Our feature poet for March is Co-convenor of The Kurilpa Poets, and one of Brisbane’s gifted kavi (poet[s])—Vijan (Vij) Chandra. In his poetry Vij Chandra demonstrates a sharp sensitivity to his surroundings, with powerful impressions recollected through a prism of tranquillity. Vij Chandra brings an ardent sensibility to his exploration of human relationships, the loneliness in a crowd, the wistfulness of fleeting unions, the pining for love, the endless waiting to fulfil dreams, and the urgent, mortal necessity to live life to the full.

 

Sunday April 5

SpeedPoets returns for its second gig of 2009 with a a three-way feature attack. Be there when Brisbane’s longest running poetry event, rolls back into The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St, New Farm from 2pm, with features from local spoken word/hip-hop artist Dark Wing Dubs, the hauntingly beautiful sounds of Brisbane songstress Skye Staniford and a special treat, all the way from the Northern Territory, spoken word artist Pru Gell. There will also be live sounds from the SpeedPoets engine room of Sheish Money, free zines, giveaways and the hottest Open Mic section in our fine city. Entry is a gold coin donation.

SpeedPoets: Sunday April 5, 2pm – 5pm @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St. New Farm.

 

Friday April 17

Contraverse launches into 2009 at The Book Nook, Boundary St. West End from 7pm with Round Robin Open Mic and a feature set from Miss Ruby Fizz herself, Zenobia Frost. Entry is free.

 

Saturday April 18

Words or Whatever is Brisbane’s newest gig. All the Spoken Word, Slam, Hip-Hop and Subversion takes place from 6:30pm at Black Star Cafe, 44 Thomas Street, West End. The April gig features performances by LESSONMC, SURREAL, MANTIST, TRIKS & CHARLIE CHOCOLATE.

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Where do the Words Come From #7 – Skye Staniford

SpeedPoets rolls around again on Sunday April 5 and this month’s music feature is Brisbane songbird Skye Staniford. Skye is a member of local music outfits,  ‘We All Want To’ and ‘Golden Virtues’, who regularly collaborate with Brisbane’s Ringmaster of Debauched Cabaret, Ghostboy, so I asked her the big question… Where do the Words Come From?

Her reply…

In bursts from my mind. Past, present and imagined love. Being. 

Beautiful, tell me more, I said… and she did:

 

skye-staniford

 

Influences

I’m influenced or inspired by many things I come across. It’s a recurring process:

1. Come across ‘thing’. IE: book, album, sauce.

2. Get caught up in the moment of ‘thing’. IE: adopt language of book, begin singing in same style as on album, start putting Worcestershire Sauce on everything.

3. Initial hit of thing wears off. IE: finish book, get bored of album, start questioning the versatility of Worcestershire Sauce.

4. Some element of ‘thing’ weaves its way into me forever ie: A love and gift for using Nadsat, a love and gift for singing harmonies (thanks Simon, thanks Garfunkel), a love and gift for preparing and consuming  an incredible Bloody Mary, and we all know who the star of that show is…

It’s all about the ‘thing’.

 

The writing process

The pen is romantic but the keyboard is swift. Writing the words and working out how to express what I’m feeling and wanting on the guitar is a very strange ‘thing’. Explain I cannot. I have to jump on any desire to write straight away or it vanishes. I rarely practice. I don’t sit down and go ‘ok, I’m going to write a song now’. When I have done this in the past, the songs have been shit. I’m not extremely prolific but I’d like to think that means I’m a quality over quantity kind of girl.

 

The importance of voice

I’m a flautist and singer who smokes. I spent a large part of my childhood in hospital, hooked up to machines, with acute athsma. So aside from being insane, I will say that I don’t value and respect ‘the importance of voice’ enough.

 

Recurring themes

Longing and dysfunction. Satisfaction and contentment. Caring too much or not enough. Infected tattoos.

 

How have my feelings about lyrics, changed since I first started writing?

I used to be able to hammer out a stream of consciousness filled with mistaken rhyme. I also used to go night swimming on mushrooms. I’m more careful these days – less is definitely more.

 

Find Out More:

http://www.myspace.com/skyestaniford

 

GOLDEN VIRTUES BIO

“ Brisbane ’s premier folk and roll outfit” – RAVE MAGAZINE

 Here we have a spearfishing guitarist. He can find a feast on any suburban street. Where we see pavers Reece sees starfruit. Background: Garage, Punk, Stoner Rock. Foreground: Words, Voice, Guitar, Bass, Harmonica. 

Coming up like a hurricane is our Shakespearean Siren and calligraphic enigma. An olde world, r-rolling violinist; Hannah Jane sings sweeter than syrup and looks like a wrapped present in any garment. Background: Classical, Gypsy, Folk. Foreground: Words, Voice, Violin, Guitar, Keys.

To her left we have a wandering minstrel. All legs and mellow, Robbie is a teleported-from-the-seventies cat, a melody-mining machine who loves on the frets like he loves vintage vinyl. Background: Prog Rock, Psychedelic, Experimental. Foreground: Voice, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin.

Then there is the ale-sipping chanteuse Skye, who sings off headlands and relates to the pied piper. She wants to eat a devilled egg and lay across your piano. Background: Blues, Doo Wop, 90’s Rock. Foreground: Words, Voice, Flute, Guitar, Bass, Tambourine.

Lastly, a true gentleman. Radovan holds his knife like a jazz drummer and plays a mean slide ukulele with a ripe pear. A Serbian pimp daddy with the crib to prove it, he reigns on sticks and mallets but draws the line at brushes. Background: Metal, Hip Hop, Heavy Rock. Foreground: Drums, Percussion

 

Catch Skye live at SpeedPoets when it returns for its second gig of 2009 on Sunday April 5. It all happens at the The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St, New Farm from 2pm. The gig will also feature local spoken word/hip-hop artist Dark Wing Dubs and Pru Gell (Northern Territory). There will also be live sounds from the SpeedPoets engine room of Sheish Money, free zines, giveaways and the hottest Open Mic section in our fine city. Entry is a gold coin donation. See you there!

SpeedPoets: Sunday April 5, 2pm – 5pm @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St. New Farm.

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Brisbane Poetry Gig Guide – March 8

Here’s a quick look at some of the events coming up in Brisbane this month… stay tuned for updates to this post.

 

Saturday March 21

Come along and celebrate Autumn Equinox Earth Arts Festival at Brisbane’s Northey Street Farm (cnr. Northey and Victoria Sts, Windsor).

Be there from 3pm and enjoy:

Earth Arts: Mud painting, pottery and weaving
Earth Sounds: Environmental music, didge sounds and performances (all poets welcome).
Earth Food: Chai Cafe and cob oven cooking

From 6pm there will be an informal Bonfire, Equinox Ceremony & Fire Twirling

For more details visit: http://www.nscf.org.au/

 

Sunday March 29

Ahimsa House proudly supports the local community-based poetry group in West End—The Kurilpa Poets. The next gig is Sunday, 29th March 2009. Time: 02—04.30 PM at  – The Emma Goldman Room – at Ahimsa House, 26 Horan Street West End (opposite the West End State School). Everyone is welcome. Murri and Koori poets please join in!
 
Our feature poet for March is Co-convenor of The Kurilpa Poets, and one of Brisbane’s gifted kavi (poet[s])—Vijan (Vij) Chandra. In his poetry Vij Chandra demonstrates a sharp sensitivity to his surroundings, with powerful impressions recollected through a prism of tranquillity. Vij Chandra brings an ardent sensibility to his exploration of human relationships, the loneliness in a crowd, the wistfulness of fleeting unions, the pining for love, the endless waiting to fulfil dreams, and the urgent, mortal necessity to live life to the full.

 

Sunday April 5

SpeedPoets returns for its second gig of 2009 with a a three-way feature attack. Be there when Brisbane’s longest running poetry event, rolls back into The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St, New Farm from 2pm, with features from local spoken word/hip-hop artist Dark Wing Dubs, the hauntingly beautiful sounds of Brisbane songstress Skye Staniford and a special treat, all the way from the Northern Territory, spoken word artist Pru Gell. There will also be live sounds from the SpeedPoets engine room of Sheish Money, free zines, giveaways and the hottest Open Mic section in our fine city. Entry is a gold coin donation. See you there!

SpeedPoets: Sunday April 5, 2pm – 5pm @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St. New Farm.

speedpoets-logo

SpeedPoets Zine is also open for submission. So, if you’ve got a few poems lying around burning holes in your computer screen, notebook or underpants draw? What are you waiting for? Send them off to SpeedPoets for the April issue… remember, no more than 3 poems at a time, emailed in the body of an email to me at geenunn(at)yahoo.com.au with the subject SpeedPoets Submission. Blow my mind… I dare ya!

Note: SpeedPoets is a completely not-for-profit group and the zine is distributed free at the event. We do however, welcome submissions from all over the world, but have to ask contributors outside of Brisbane to cover postage costs if they would like a copy sent to them.

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Talkin’ Poetry Blues: an interview with Sheish Money

The mighty SpeedPoets returns from its summer break this Sunday, March 1, hungry for your words. Be there, when Brisbane’s longest running poetry event, rolls back into The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St, New Farm from 2pm, with poetry features from Jef Caruss and Mel Dixon; live sounds from Q-Song Award nominees, Peter Green and the Midnight Prophets and the hottest Open Mic section in the city backed by SpeedPoets very own poetic interpreter Sheish Money.

I had a long chat to Sheish this week about SpeedPoets, his book Another Rock Pig and poetry as light. Here’s what he had to say…

 

Sheish Money Live at QLD Poetry Festival 2008

Sheish Money Live at QLD Poetry Festival 2008

 

I was reading the work of Diane DiPrima recently and was drawn to her idea that poetry is made of light. The effect of light, she says, is created in the same way sound moves inside us, moving our spirit in a certain way. She goes on to say that breath is, of course, spirit, and that what happens is, the person reading the poem aloud, singing or chanting, enters the ear and mingles in the body of the listener (with their spirit) and so, moves and changes the body’s disposition.
 
As I read this, I was reminded of your own physical approach to performance and the fact that we are a physical instrument, not much different from a musical instrument in many ways. How does this influence your approach to writing and what point to you decide poem or song?


 
I like that, it makes a lot of sense to me. Sound and light are really just different wavelengths of vibrations. We are able to register wavelengths outside of what is perceived by our eyes and ears.Our bodies are sensitive to subsonic and ultrasonic sounds as well as light outside the visual spectrum. Vibrations resonate within us and changes us. Often a piece of music or some words resonate with us beyond our understanding. The voice is really the original musical instrument. I think all music relates back to the voice, therefore I believe poetry is music.

The voice isn’t something that happens in the mouth. If you scream you feel it in your fingers and toes, it moves blood around your whole body. If you hear a scream it goes right through your whole body. It literally makes your hair stand on end. I love sound and I think, for me hearing sounds in my head is the first step in writing anything. Sometimes things will form up on the page so it becomes a more visual thing but the rhythm is probably the most important thing. Frank Zappa said once that if there is a complex script it is difficult to put it across while singing which is why most singing deals with simple forms, or words to that effect. He also said that his guitar solos were speech influenced rhythmic patterns. It is more difficult to speak whilst playing an instrument or rather it’s easier to sing. 

I love experimenting with my voice whether singing or speaking. I am not a trained musician or poet and I try not to analyse it to much. Any label is ultimately limiting. 
Writing anything is about creating a reaction. You want people to get a tingle in their spine or for it to set their teeth on edge. And even if it never gets read or seen by anyone it causes reactions in the writer. Mostly when I’m writing it is with a mind to performance so I am trying to create something that resonates with people’s previous experiences. That process takes on different forms. Often playing something will spark and suggest words, you hear words in the music then it’s just a matter of constructing something around that. Other times a phrase or an idea for a story will come from somewhere and you write it down and that takes on a different life. Sometimes those things don’t suggest a melody so they remain a spoken piece. Other times they seem to lend themselves to a song. Some of my strongest songs have come about in that way. Also often the rhythms and rhymes are not as obvious in those pieces which I find can be more interesting. Maybe they have more light in them 
 
 
 
As a musician you have played at Brisbane’s longest running poetry event SpeedPoets for the last 5 years as well as on larger stages with with many poets including US sound poet Tracie Morris. What is the key to finding the music in other people’s poetry?


 
Mostly I think it’s more a case of trying to read body language than anything else. A poet reading their poem will be reflecting the rhythm of the poem in their body. Of course some poets write more rhythmically than others so they tend to be easier to play with, that said holding a rhythm that is unrelated to the piece can work and sometimes adding sounds underneath certain parts can also be effective. When I play along with a piece that I haven’t heard before I can’t possibly take the whole thing in but keeping my ears open to the lines that are going to have the most impact and letting them sort of float out there by themselves is I think an integral part of it, as is trying to be sensitive to the dynamics of the piece.

Every poem and every poet is different. Tracie Morris is of course a seasoned performer with a strong sense of the rhythm in her words so with her it was kick in to something, try not to get in the way, listen out for the lines or words that i can punctuate and ride it to the end. At Speedpoets where I may be playing behind someone who has never performed their poetry live, let alone with music is a different thing and in that instance I try to find something that wont disconcert the poet, kick into that, try and not get in the way, listen out for lines or words that I can punctuate and try and hang on till the end.

Often I am standing directly behind the poet and I find watching their hips is the key to how the piece is going. Ya bum never lies.
 

Sheish Money QPF 2008

Sheish Money QPF 2008

 

What is the role of spontaneity in your creative process?


 
It is probably the most important thing for me as a musician. I have a rather short attention span (as do most audiences) so staying in the moment and responding to it rather than having set ideas as to how a thing should go keeps it interesting for me (and hopefully the audience). I love improvising and have done quite a lot of that musically and as I said I believe the voice is the first musical instrument so it is only a short leap to do that with poets. I’m not a great improviser with words but being able to respond to the moment and change meaning by subtly changing the words is very interesting to me. Songs or poems are never set in stone for me, they are in a continual state of flux. The same words can have different meanings on different days and changing one word can dramatically change the whole meaning of a piece.
 
 

 

Your debut poetry collection Another Rock Pig is one of those rare poetry collections that reads as a book. It has a spine that binds it, but it also has blood, sweat and a swinging set of testicles. Each time I open it, it smells of life. Tell us about the process of putting this together.


 
Another Rock Pig started life as me trying to make sense of that period of my life spent in grubby rock venues. I wasn’t thinking of a product or even a set piece. Like a lot of the best things it came to me and I got it down very quickly. Apart from a stitch or two there is nothing embroidered about it, it’s all true… those things happened. So I guess that’s where the life comes from, from life.  

The next step was the encouragement from people to do something with it. An artist is generally  the least qualified to judge the merits of their own work, so having people around that said “this is the stuff” and making me reassess its merits was a crucial step. Then having people to help separate the “wheat from the chaff” and make me analyze in a more subjective way what was important for me and what I actually wanted to say was also critical.

So really it is a group effort with too many people involved to possibly list. Poetry is thought of as a solitary pursuit but it’s this interaction that drives the poems and the product be it book, CD or even performance.
 
 

What keeps the light/poetry in your veins?


 
In a word, people. I have a friend who is a poet of some note (I wont mention any names) and we talk about it often, that the words, the gig, the performance they’re just a way of connecting with people. The relationships that evolve out of the poetry is the most important thing. Being inspired by others as a means to lift your game and concentrate on honing your craft is ultimately what it is all about. That comes from audiences as well as other poets. Seeing poets who show the possibilities have a huge impact on what I try to do. I think that a terrible gig can teach you more than a great gig. It forces you to go away and analyze what you’re doing and improve, find ways to resonate and connect with the audience. 

People have said that music or poetry is like an addiction but I disagree with that analogy because giving it up won’t make your life better and the nature of addiction is one of diminished returns. I find that with poetry and music the more you do it the better it gets although I often use the Lord Byron quote about not having a way of stopping it.

 

Poem:

 

Another Day At Work

The PA is thunderous
                            under his touch tonight
A night
          when it all just sits
          on such a delicate balance
          that every
          pot and fader
          is alive with the joy
          of the electrons
          flowing through them
A night
          when the room and the punters
          and the PA all join hands and dance
          to his magician’s wand
A night
          when his every move seems blessed
          every delay reverb and compressor set
          to maximum pleasure

A kick drum
          so big even the lighting guy is in time
          vocals
          so clear even the breathing is in tune
          guitars
          so rich you could lay on them
          and a bass
          so fat you’d need a six lane highway
          to drive it home
A night
          when you can polish a turd

 

Find out more:

http://www.myspace.com/sheishmoney 

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