I arrived at Cove Park earlier today to finish the new and improved version of The Relentless Approach of Better Times. After the first performance I was incredibly drained and realised that free improvising the soundtrack was not the safest way to keep performing this. Taken on by Cryptic for a Cryptic Night on November 18th, I was in the position of having to write a soundtrack to the film.
The big problem was did I still believe that better times are coming? At the start of the year I had to admit to myself that actually no, I no longer believed that to be the case. Isfet had run riot through political systems across the world, people with seemingly nothing but contempt for the wellbeing of others were suddenly in charge of dealing with a global pandemic, and climate deniers were being given the power to legislate against sustainability. What a clusterfuck.
I learned this year that I find despair pretty boring though, so an interesting challenge presented itself. I can't stand on stage and perform something that I fundamentally don't believe in and giving in seems too easy, so the only other option was to dig deeper. Optimism is only foolish if it is unexamined and I think the only thing that is going to drag us forwards through this living Hieronymus Bosch painting is a sense or galvanised positivity. It's the one tiny cloud catching the sun that reminds you that it won't rain forever. It's the one tiny leaf that is still fighting when the rest of the plant has died. You don't have to feel it every minute of every day but you do have to search for it and when you find it you have to nourish it because as soon as you realise how much you give a shit you'll really start to fight for it. Now is the time.
I wouldn't have revisited this show if I didn't have to, but I'm very glad I did. I now have ten days to pull it all together, switch some of the edits, cut some of the good but distracting bits and find the best way to show just how much I believe that better times are relentlessly coming.
Please join me at the CCA in Glasgow on the 18th November.
There are many strands to my work and sometimes it's hard to find a balance, but they all feed each other and each part would be weaker without the others. Here are some insights I have picked up along the way.