I was invited, back in November, to take part in the debut Profound Sound Festival down in Folkestone. Profound Sound aims to capitalise where Plunge started back in 2015 – by bringing experimental sound / musics to the south coast for the enjoyment of those that flocked to it – and, boy did they flock. There was a real buzz in Folkestone over the weekend. I had been invited to play both Friday and Saturday night in differing venues – quite an accolade.
The Friday night set was really about testing the water on how I would be taken over the weekend. It did not go well – I was billed more as a DJ than an act and there were people talking loudly into their phones and boorishly greeting each other – I took umpage and got a bit precious (very precious) so I played numerous recordings of Bomb Testings in Nepal and glowered over the multitude. The act that followed me was why they were there and I had given myself an acute sense of self importance. This really was a leveler.
Saturday night: I was prepared for more humiliation – but, it proved to be one of the best nights I have been out performing. The venue was LIME Bar / Cafe on Tontine Street, Folkestone – as owned by Andi & Cathy. I was expecting more of the same as Friday night but this time there was silence and appreciation – I was amazed that people found worth in what I was doing! For a good twenty minutes in the middle of the set there was silence across the whole bar. I managed to record the set and here it is, below.
So, then. What lessons can be learned from Profound Sound 2016 – Essentially, I need to clarify whether, in this situation, I am a DJ or an artistic act I suppose. I get out and about playing the nightclubs of North Yorkshire to lay claim to any DJ ambition – so when I am playing field recordings across four decks I think I will need to bill myself as an act. How to go about this? Well this will be a period of acute experimentation as I try and fathom the best way to engage the audience.
One suggestion given to me by Alex Monk was maybe I should try blind-folding the audience members? I think: A dark room? 1-2-1 performance ….? The list is endless as it is vexing. However, roll on 2017!
I really hope I will get asked back by Denise and Diane Dever to play 2017 – It really was a treat to go out there and perform with like minded souls. There was a ‘professional DIY’ ethos to the event and a bonhomie around the town that will keep me coming back every time I am asked.