Today will be an odd day. It's my last session at the Arts Cafe for the Everybody's Reading project I've been doing with visual artist Sue Clews, Tim Sayers and Lydia Towsey—not as a poet this time but as Arts-in-Health co-ordinator for the NHS.
I've spent the last nine weeks listening closely and watching as people interact and engage with books, each other and themselves. This process was at the heart of the piece I was commissioned to create for the Festival. Since working on Heralds—and that's longer than most people would think—I've been moving towards making map-like scores and "scripts" for the music I want to hear. The older versions of my maps were very directed and quite prescriptive; so there would be a flow from start to finish; the musician was guided to the end point with descriptions as to what I wanted to hear as the writer.
But in this case I was writing for the trio. This is something I have never really had to do, since we neither play "tunes" nor rehearse. We just turn up and create music, through listening and awareness of our environment. So it was a matter of balancing the openness of the group with my intentions for the piece. So I decided to modify process I used on myself for Popular Delusions and Songs for the New Folk, which is more based on emotions and what is said rather than what I think. This is a Flickr set of the score, about 75% finished.