Performance 3: with Tom Jackson (Tuesday 2nd July 2013)

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Date/time: Tuesday 2nd July at 19.20

Weather/light: light rain, 18 degrees, overcast

Photographers/artists: Neil Sloman (photos), Tom Jackson (bass clarinet), Ben Horner (podcast/sound art)

Vegetation/wildlife: the rosebay willowherb had grown almost 2m high. It was considerably higher than the piano. The audience could not see the instrument from the clearing where they sat. The clarinet player sheltered from the rain in a hollow at the base of a yew (?) tree. The birds answered the clarinet.

State of piano: more keys worked this month. This was probably because the weather had been warmer and drier in the previous weeks (although it was raining during this performance).

Unusual happenings/circumstances: the bass clarinetist Tom Jackson had travelled from London to perform this month. A group of poets came to listen.

The walk from the entrance to Littlehall Woods to the piano takes about 5 minutes. It is just long enough to feel like you’re entering another world. In the late nineteenth century these woods belonged to the artist Sidney Cooper who cultivated a collection of rare trees and plants. Bamboo groves and young Redwood trees give the forest a beautiful yet disorientating feel, like an eerie paradise.

As well playing the keys of the piano I used fishing wire coated in rosin to bow the piano strings. I felt that my playing was not as successful as last month. I did not exercise the same restraint or listen as closely and I could not see or hear Tom during our duet together. He was about 10m away sheltering under a tree. Despite this there are some compelling moments of synchronicity near the end of the recording.

Sound artist Ben Horner came at very short notice (I phoned him earlier that afternoon) with a voice recorder and interviewed me and Tom with a view to making a podcast about the project.

piano in the woods fixed shot july 2nd 2013bass clarinet in the woods july 2nd 2013_0004bass clarinet in the woods II july 2nd 2013_0006IMG_0601IMG_0590IMG_0594
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Neil Sloman 2nd July 2013, a set on Flickr.

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