What do I do already?
I am a singer-songwriter whose genre would fall under the acoustic folk umbrella. My band consists of a (usually brush) drum, violin, double bass, trumpet and acoustic guitar. I sing and the band tend to throw in the odd harmony. Here's a link to a recent performance where the violinist and drummer were absent.
I have always been a fan of how musicians will tell the story of why they wrote a specific song. I have created a previous music body of work that was story orientated which you can watch in the video below.
What do I want to do?
As I have just mentioned, I've always been a fan of when musicians explain the song before they play it. And so I decided to try it with all of my songs, then a particular song had a slightly loner story than the others as I felt each time I told it it would get longer and more elaborate. It seemed to really draw people in when I was telling the story and people would tell me that it made them more invested in the song because of it.
My project is very malleable but the one main constant is creating a performance suitable for a more 'theatre' based environment, in which I tell stories and sing songs to an audience of (hopefully) paying fans. There are lots of aspects to explore around this idea, but this is the core of the project that I will build around.
There are many things that go into the making of a show and here's a list to start with.
- EP/Album - I already have the songs, I just need to record them.
- Marketing - Why would people want to come to the show?
- Self promotion - Why would people want to come and see Araby?
- Merchandise - T's, zines, posters, music.
- Technical - What are the technical requirements for the show
- Financial - What is affordable? Can I actually make a living from this?
So I guess that's kind of it for now, over this course I'll be looking into each aspect to help evolve the show.
2. Project Summary
Project Title & Description Live Visual Music Performance.
45 minute live storytelling and music performance with performers and visuals.
Before each song, the songwriter will tell how the song evolved. Whilst the songwriter is telling the story, several actors/dancers will act it out on stage, from the story’s start to the end of the song.
Each song is it’s own story, but the performance as a whole will have a consistent artistic aesthetic that will glue them together, as not to feel too disjunct.
The main aim of this project is to create a new way of experiencing live music, that will be successful enough to sustain itself as a performance piece capable of touring. It will work better in theatre and studio spaces as a performance, but I would like to make sure there is a version that can be performed in more traditional music venues.
I can see it potentially developing into a tv series that has established artists taking part in the process, explaining the stories behind their songs and creating a live performance.
The storytelling aspect would also lend well into workshops within theatre schools and primary/secondary schools. Exploring what lyrics mean, which words are emphasised melodically and how can we interpret that into physical/visual art.
Project Development Requirements
To develop this project I would have to improve on my knowledge of theatre tech and performance. I would research into what is feasible within the spaces that the project will be performed and how to get the set from A to B when touring, whilst also considering the financial side. Plus I’d need to work on event management and organisation if it were to tour.
Fields of Practice/Research
Storytelling (verbal and physical)
Current performers that tell their stories before singing their songs - Passenger, Damien Rice, Glen Hansard, etc.
'Performance Now: Life art for the 21st century’ by RoseLee Goldberg.
‘The Art of Songwriting’ by Ed Bell
‘Costume in Performance’ by Donatella Barbieri