Peach – People

They have a ‘4th wall’ in theatre, as many know – a wall between the audience and the stage. But there’s another 4th wall, I reckon, in music gigs. With the gig-4th-wall, interaction is mostly limited to things like “this next song is called”, “we got CDs”, or “thank you very much“. If you break this wall and chat frankly about the activity you’re doing, or the time you’re having in your life in that instant, it can be frightening, foolish, hilarious and reaffirming for everyone involved.

This is one of the things we’ve been doing in ‘Peach’, the monthly concert series in Stoke Newington we started in December with my album launch.

 

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Similarly, if you get some players (new players each month) who haven’t worked together before, and put your full trust in their interpretation of the material, they can be left naked, with recourse to nothing but their own invention, sincerity, and musical communication, in a situation where personal expression is universally welcomed. This can be challenging and rewarding, and is another thing we’ve been doing in the ‘Peach’ series.

A good sense of inclusion can be infectious, and spread to the audience, and when people leave they might feel less like customers who bore witness to something, and more like people who were welcomed and involved in it.

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A piece of music can be a wonderful thing, but a human being is infinite, and more entertaining than anything I could script or compose. Focusing this work on people and instances is perhaps a short-cut – can I be cheating my way out of the responsibilities of an artist: to personally produce and represent original material?

Before we play I remind the players, “If in doubt, yes!”, and “Make sure you do something I’m not ready for”.

The next one is on the 3rd of May, at the Total Refreshment Centre (N16 7UR), as always.

Ben Hooper made a short film of last month’s Peach and you can see it here.

Join us for the next one – travel if necessary – it’s the best thing I have to offer you:

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