Tag Archives: The Stillest Hour

Aural Text Award: And the winner is…

Adam Gibson and his band The Aerial Maps for their 2008 album, In the Blinding Sunlight. Here’s what the judges had to say:

“Adam Gibson’s In the Blinding Sunlight is a poetic triumph. It mixes the exquisite, ethereal language of love with the firm vernacular of the everyday. Beautifully written, beautifully musical and just beautifully executed. The best thing is it is a CD you want to play again and again and again. For me, it doesn’t get better than that.”

— Alicia Sometimes

Here’s a clip of their song The Great Australian Silence:

Highly Commendeds were awarded to Going Down Swinging 25 (double CD issue), A Million Bright Things – QLD Poetry Festival 2009, As If Nothing Happened, And It IsPaul Mitchell & Bill Butler and of course The Stillest Hour recorded by Sheish Money & myself.

I am wrapped to be in such fine company and the other highlight is that Sheish and I have tracks featured on two of the other shortlisted albums (GDS 25 & A Million Bright Things).

Happy times indeed!

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Shortlisted for the Aural Text Award

Received some really nice news this afternoon, the CD I recorded with Sheish Money, The Stillest Hour has been shortlisted for the Aural Text Award.

While I don’t know the complete shortlist, I do know that the QLD Poetry Festival CD – A Million Bright Things is shortlisted, so I know the competition is strong.

The winner is announced on closing night of Overload Poetry Festival this Sunday, September 19. Will keep you posted!

 

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Another Lost Shark Special Offer: The Stillest Hour + Measuring the Depth

Well, there aren’t many copies left of either of these items, and after all, there’s no point them adorning my shelves, so this Lost Shark is offering them as a package for $20 incl. postage.

So if you want to get your ears around my debut CD, The Stillest Hour, recorded with the master of the poetic riff, Sheish Money and your eyes on my 2005 collection, Measuring the Depth, shoot me an email at: geenunn(at)yahoo.com.au or leave me a comment below and I will get in touch.

Or If you would just like a copy of The Stillest Hour, you can order one as a separate item for $12 (incl. postage).

And to give you another taste, here’s a track from the album: Gutter & Edge

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QWC Blog Tour stops by Another Lost Shark

The good folk at QLD Writers Centre have set sail on a blog tour from October to December this year, stopping by a number of sites and asking the people behind them a few questions about what makes them tick. So here’s what this Lost Shark had to say when they came knocking.

 

Where do your words come from?

Quite literally, all over the place. I often think of myself walking the streets of Brisbane (or wherever I am) with a net, trawling through the multitude of images in search of the ones that will have a lasting impact. I am also hugely influenced by music. I have quite a large instrumental music collection – everything from the sprawling post rock of Godspeed You! Black Emperor to the more delicate sounds of Seaworthy. The way these musicians create narrative and visual images through patterns of sound really fascinates me. More often than not, I have music on while I am writing. Sometimes it stays in the background, other times it drives the creation of the poem. And while I am talking about music, I have to mention how much my work with Sheish Money influences what I do. He, more than anyone, has helped me find the music in my writing. My other major well of words are the conversations, stories and snippets of life that are shared between friends, family and loved ones. But most of all, the words come with their share of sweat. Capturing the idea is often the easy part, shaping it is where the real work is.

 

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

Well I grew up in Mt Gravatt and live in Mt. Gravatt. In fact, I (unashamedly) live five streets away from our family home. My wife often says my history is contained in five streets. And that is true in many ways… I did however, spend several years in rural QLD in the mid-nineties and really loved it. My four years in the little township of Jimna (north-west of Kilcoy) was when I really started to develop a serious interest in writing. All that solitude, fresh air and leafy surroundings really centred me and gave me the time to work on my craft… and to read. There are times when I miss that slower lifestyle, but Brisbane is such  an amazing city to live in and I love having family close by. I was really honoured when Samuel Wagan Watson dedicated the poem Tigerland (from Smoke Encrypted Whispers) to me. Mt. Gravatt (or Tigerland as it is affectionately known) is where I grew up and where I truly feel at home.

 

What’s the first sentence/line of your latest work?

I make a fish from an alphabet

 

What piece of writing do you wish you had written?

Dionysus & the Fire by Steven Heighton.

It opens with the Irish Proverb – Never arm a man who can’t dance.

Tonight
Dubrovnik burning
& one time Lhasa, London in the blitz
& last year in the Gardens of Babylon, just wilted
women’s shawls
widowed with ash, with atoms of a daughter, son
fresh-weaned from this breast of a planet
left hanging

  & the war?
the war is as good as won
  & the brain?
the brain is a smart bomb
  dance

The words of this long poem bristle with energy (this is just the first stanza above). It is a poem I often read at open mics or as part of a live set. It’s the poem I read when I need a kick in the pants or I think the audience needs one.

 

What are you currently working towards?

I am working on putting together a new collection of poems titled Ocean Hearted. I have had this in the pipeline for a while now, but put it to one side to complete work on the CD The Stillest Hour this year. I guess like most writers… I am working toward having more time to write, although I think I do okay.

 

Complete this sentence… the future of the book is…

Safe. The sensory hit of holding a book is something that I firmly believe will continue to mesmerise us for eternity.

 

To follow the tour, visit Queensland Writers Centre’s blog The Empty Page.

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Launched!

Well, The Stillest Hour is now well and truly launched. Last night, Sheish and I shared the stage with Helen Avery and Hinemoana Baker, and for a few tracks, Hinemoana, Sheish and this Lost Shark formed a three-piece with me sitting in on drums. For those of you who were there, you would have seen that playing drums makes me smile…

The coming together of friends, family and the poetry community makes magic. The crowd was a sea of smiles and the energy buoyed us along, each track, topping the one before it. It was one of those rare nights, where all the factors were just right.

I want to finish this post with the words of Hinemoana Baker, who launched our CD. We were (and forever will be) honoured.

———-

MIHI – ke te mihi atu ahau ki nga tangata whenua o tenei
wahi, ki nga iwi e kiia nei ko Yagerra, ko Turrbal nga
ingoa. Kia kaha koutou ki te tu motuhake, tu teitei i runga
i to mana whenua no mai ra ano.

It’s a great pleasure to be standing here to introduce and
launch this new taonga, this new treasure, ‘The Stillest
Hour’, by the spokenword supergroup that is Graham Nunn
and Sheish Money, performed by both of them and produced and
recorded by Sheish.

There’s an enormous amount of respect between these two,
as artists and as people, and there’s nothing sweeter to
me than the sound, and silence, of two people really
listening to each other. Both the music and the words on
this make as much room for jamming as for planning, for the
wildly unexpected as for the softly nostalgic.

So I don’t use the musical comparison lightly – I say
‘supergroup’ both because these two are superb acts in
their own right who also bless us by sharing the stage, and
because to me, rather than being a poet and a musician
standing before you, these two are more like a band, where
the lead singer happens to speak rather than sing. There’s
that kind of listening going on through the whole thing,
there’s that kind of rhythm, melody, dynamic, low and
loud, hard and soft – in the meanings of the words as much
as in the sounds Sheish makes. It’s a rare and wonderful
combination – Graham is a poet AND a musician, Sheish is a
musician AND a poet, so there’s a mutual co-creation,
every show is a unique opus with two composers.

And what’s even better is that this show (ie the CD)
and the one you’re about to see aren’t the same.
And never shall be forever and ever amen – and
that’s the beauty of what these two create. Tonight, when
you watch this performance and then buy the album you’re
getting way more bang for your buck.

What you’re about to see is a glimpse of something
that’s still very much alive, still responding to the
organic nature of what it is that we do and continue to do
as artists and engineers and audiences: which is to make,
and to love the making.

E nga manuhiri, ladies and gentlemen, Graham Nunn and Sheish
Money.

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Brisbane Writers Festival in review + A Taste of Salt

After a big night of poetry on Friday night, this Lost Shark hit the road to get a taste of salt… but before I get to that, a little BWF roundup.

Friday evening’s Small Change Press reading was a lot of fun. It was especially wonderful to hear the words of Julie Beveridge, who has been absent from the mic for a while, due to her QPF commitments. The poems from Home is Where the Heartache is cut clean and deep, pulling back the fat from those moments in life that we often keep hidden. Take Last Cigarette for example:

‘Can I have a cigarette?’ he asks

That once familiar voice, now alien. I take out a cigarette, but don’t light it. In thirty seconds he will forget. I pull the blanket up over his chest. Finger the rim on the hole in his larynx. I want to wear him like a ring. As he falls into sleep his breath grunts and rattles.

thin red line
I light
his last cigarette

It still hurts as good as it did when I first read it two years ago. Check out this review of Heartache on Stylus Poetry Journal.

Next up Sheish Money and I blew out the cobwebs that had gathered during the week with a short set. I have to say, that I am absolutely buzzing about the launch this Thursday, September 17 at the Judith Wright Centre. Sheish and I are really hitting our straps at the moment, and we are both looking forward to sending The Stillest Hour out into orbit and putting the finishing touches on what has been an amazing series of gigs lately. The launch details are on the blog here so come along and help celebrate!

Nathan Shepherdson then read from What Marian Drew Never Told Me About Light. This long poem will never cease to blow me away. With each reading the microscope that Shepherdson so deftly wields, shifts focus and reveals new details:

pick a number between
one and ten
that is how many times
you have died today

Brilliant!

And to round off the evening, Afeif Ismail Abdelrazig was in town, so together we performed his poem, Book of Screams, Afeif in the original Arabic and me in English.

If you see, while your eyes are closed;
the image of a baby suckling at the breast of his
dead mother;
               then know
               that this miserable child
               is
               from
               Darfur!

This poem is profoundly haunting.

Then I dashed over to the Red Chamber of Parliament House to catch Bronwyn Lea, Rosanna Licari, Hinemoana Baker, John Bennett, William Barton and Delmae Barton.

And after hearing Hinemoana’s set, I am even more excited to be sharing the stage with her on Thursday and helping to farewell her in style as she launches her CD, gondwanavista.

 

So with Brisbane turning out perfect Spring days at the moment, Julie and I loaded Hinemoana into the car on Saturday morning and hit the road for Coolangatta, as with her residency coming to a close next week, we felt she (and we) needed to feel the pull of the Pacific, to get a taste of salt.

The sky was spotless, the tide high, the temperature cool enough to bring the skin to goosebumps and then loosen. We checked out Kirra, Greenmount, Rainbow Bay, Point Danger & the Tweed.

                                                           still river
                                                           the current releases
                                                           a mullet

I had forgotten just how much I need the water, how it levels me out, brings everything back into focus. We drove home, smiling and sleepy-eyed. Yep, this Lost Shark is definitely Ocean Hearted.

 

So today, I am heading back to BWF to catch Hinemoana Baker in conversation with Kate Eltham and the final event of the festival, a poetry reading in State Library of QLD’s Red Box featuring Nathan Shepherdson, Bronwyn Lea, Emily Ballou, Felicity Plunkett and Lionel Fogarty.

A great way to wind up BWF, so if you are looking for something to do this afternoon… get along and add some poetry to your Sunday afternoon.

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Overload Poetry Festival in Review

Well the ALS 2009 Tour rolls on, and the 4th leg of the tour took me too the cooler climes of Melbourne town. The big difference on this leg of the tour was that guitar-slinging Rock Pig, Sheish Money was along for the ride. Now Sheish and I have played lots of local gigs, but outside of QLD and Northern NSW, the other states have so far missed out on the Nunn/Money experience. So I have to say… we were fairly excited!

Friday kicked off with the launch of Overload 2009 at the Fitzroy Town Hall, MC’d by poetic raconteur, Myron Lysenko. A truly beautiful venue and great space to mingle with the Melbourne poetry crowd. I was really impressed by the passion of the Mayor who delivered the best speech I have ever heard from a politician at such an event. You really got the sense that she was right behind the festival. After the speeches, The Heart Chamber featuring Matt Hetherington, Tom Joyce, Lia Hills, Marian Spires & Michelle Leber performed a set of love poems. Matt Hetherington’s poem , When I Am Not With Her There Where She Is, the absolute stand out and one of the best contemporary love poems I have read in the last decade.

So with the room feeling the love, Santo Cazzati hit the mic dressed in checked suit and matching hat with all the energy of a box of snakes, promising us to keep us safe from the Fitzroy Ghouls as he lead the poetry crawl, Takin’ it to the Streets. And we were off…

First Stop Dantes.

Sheish Money & Graham Nunn Blue Velvet2_gimpKicking  things off was Gabrielle Everall (WA), who I had seen perform last weekend in Perth. Gabrielle delivers her words in a darkly musical voice. Her poems brimming with equal parts beauty and menace. Her set was followed by fellow West Australian, Vivienne Glance and the man who is on a quest to become Australia’s first poet laureate, Ben Pobje. So with the first leg of the crawl setting the bar high, the crowd was whitled into action, and set off to Southpaw in pursuit of Santo Cazzati and the offerings of poems by Anthony O’Sullivan, Jenny Toune, Kimberley Mann & Sam Byfield. Sadly, Sheish and I had to miss Stop Two to rush back to The Nunnery, get our gear and head off to Blue Velvet to sound check for the the third and final stop for the night.

Third Stop Blue Velvet.

Sheish Money & Graham Nunn Blue Velvet1_gimp

With the sound check done and the crowd squeezing in to the lounge-room sized back room, we hit the stage to open proceedings. No intros, no talking, just the sparkle of Sheish’s big red Kasuga brightening my poems. This was the teaser for Saturday night’s set, so we played only three poems Nomads, Ocean Hearted & Seeing a girl off in a summer storm. The room feel into that deep silence, and for those few minutes, the world seemed to close its eyes. We looked at each and smiled, eager to play an extended set tomorrow night. We were then followed by the be-helmeted Alex Scott and Bribane’s surrealist wildcard, Ghostboy. A Ghostboy set is something to behold. The crowd is just as much a part of the show as the man/ghoul/poet himself. Tonight Ghostboy tied one woman to a chair and incited another pair of ladies to passionately kiss on the carpet. He was on, the crowd lapped it up and he lapped the cheeks of several men in the audience.

We had taken to the streets and the streets had embraced us.

Jenny Toune Bella Union_gimp

Saturday was the big one… tonight Sheish and I stretched our poetic riffs at the Bella Union Trades Hall, sharing the stage with tap-dancing poet Jenny Toune and the mighty Sean M. Whelan & the Interim Lovers. Jenny kicked things off with a show that blew away all my expectations. I have to admit, when I read tap-dancing poet, I wondered whether one of the art forms would suffer, but within minutes, she put all those concerns to rest. She had the moves and the words to make the stage light up. It was a great opening set and a real pleasure to have seen.

 

Sheish Money & Graham Nunn Bella Union1_gimp

Sheish and I were up next, and champing at the mic. From the moment we plugged in, it felt good. We opened with Gutter & Edge which is on the forthcoming CD and the sound, lights and crowd were all in sync. From there we kicked in to Save Me/Lessons, Sheish showing off his full-throated growl, with me stepping in and out to punctuate the verses. It was then in to the newer poems,  Sentinel and And What Voice Says. The dark guitar loop and lead flourishes giving And What Voice Says a whole new life. Sheish then pumped straight into the big open chords of Grounded before channeling Bootsy for a funky version of Oooo… We then reinterpreted old favourite In Devotion Sheish Money & Graham Nunn Bella Union3_gimpto Life’s Sordid Affairs and closed the set with Sheish tearing into the mic with his song Poetry and this Lost Shark, dropping in Point Danger between verses. It was a tight set, the interplay was good and we walked off stage, only to be called on for an encore. This is where the true brilliance of Sheish comes into play. I named a poem and he just knew the right chords… it was off the cuff, it was spontaneous and it was right. We walked off into bright lights of the Bella feeling good.

Sean Whelan & the Interim Lovers Bella Union_gimp

And to round off the night Sean M. Whelan & the Interim Lovers took to the stage unveiling a new set of poems, which reinterpret the Lewis Carrol classic, The Hunting of the Snark. Whelan is a gifted poet and performer. Tonight he swayed with the band’s subtle movements and writhed as they reached crescendo. The poems, never overshadowed by the band and the band… well, I was mesmerised. In fact I could have watched/listened to it all again. I look forward to seeing this project evolve.

Steve Smart Bella Union_gimp

And with MC Steve Smart, bringing the night to a close, we all stumbled off into glorious Lygon Steet for more wine, pizza and endless conversation.

During my time at Overload I also had the pleasure of seeing Eric Beach at The Dan; Santo Cazzati, Steve Smart & Carmen Main, Eddy Burger and Jo Truman & Warren Burt at Glitch Bar and launching Maurice McNamara’s debut collection, Half-Hour Country at Dantes (more about that soon).

There is something incredibly special that happens when poets come together… and this Lost Shark was once again, honoured to be a part of the poetry community. Sheish and I tip our hats to James Waller and crew for all their hard work. I hope you guys are still revelling in it.

To keep up to date with all the Overload events visit Overland and be sure to leave a comment.

NB: All photographs taken by Michael Reynolds… one of this world’s true gentlemen.

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