Chez moi on the 5th of July, Dick Jones, Doug McGowan and I rehearsed together for the first time the presentation we gave the next evening at the London Review Bookshop in Bloomsbury. Both occasions went off amazingly well, considering the somewhat unpredictable elements of the audio-visual programme which consisted of the following three components:
A live reading by Dick of Cendrars' entire poem.
Accompanied by Doug on guitar, playing his own composition based on the poem.
Both of the above synchronised to a slideshow of all my illustrations of the poem, plus some added visuals.
The main difficulty when I was preparing the video was to time the
sequence of images to coincide as closely as possible with the spoken
words and the music. With the software I was using, much careful
tweaking was needed to establish the duration of each image and the
transitions flowing one image into the next, but eventually everything
came together really well and we were amply rewarded for all our efforts by
the audience's enthusiastic appreciation. Doug was able to improvise
and subtly adapt his playing to any changes and Dick's reading was
always with feeling, con brio, neither over-done or under-stated.
If there is a record for posterity of this event it is entirely due to the kindness of Bill Garnett who
volunteered to film it and was there, everywhere, with his camera and
camcorder. The photo below is by Bill and more of his wonderful
pictures of guests milling about in the bookshop before the performance
are on his Pomegranate
page on FaceBook. If possible, I'll post his video of our 30 minute
performance when I receive it but it will be a very big file so I'll
have to find out where best to upload it.