Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Salt Room interviews – Joshua Bell

For the September 2017 edition of the Salt Room at the Gorman Arts Centre I interviewed each of our three performers, Joshua Bell, Sarah Rice and Tahi Atea. The interviews were to provide insight into their practice and themselves.

The questions were taken from A Conversation with Allen Ginsberg, by Harvey Kubernik. My second interview is with Joshua Bell.

An interview with Joshua Bell
(Interview by Andrew Galan)

Q: Didn’t you see The Beatles play, and there’s some poem you wrote about the event?
A: I saw the Beatles play once when I was little. I used to watch Ants follow each other too. It always struck me - this mess of a thing, this absolute chaos. But it was so calm and ordered as they went about their lives. The fact that they have lives. I used to try and imagine what it would be like to be a Beatle, or an Ant, or for that matter a Caterpillar. Really all of my poems are trying to capture that again. Like flying over a city. I don't think I've succeeded, or maybe ever will?

Q: You still read from text on stage, from a book or typewritten.  Do you ever read from memory?
A: There are only two poems of mine which I've memorised. But I find being with the physical poem comforting. I'm holding it in my hands, and I can trust it. My memory is faulty, and like a sieve. The words though? They are unchanging and loyal.

Q: Subject specific answer required:  You write something on a piece of paper.  Other people, musicians, come invited to participate and collaborate.  Does the original intention become a different trip once there is music and other elements involved?
Firstly, I've never written anything down on a piece of paper - so how dare you?

Secondly, musicians are what poets wish they could be. It's less obtuse, and more abstract. You can really hit people in the feelings with music. Get to the stuff which can't be said with words. Words that are always just an approximation of meaning. You know that the reading will be different from the writing. And I suppose that's the magic of words. They're just full of so much potential.

Joshua Bell
Joshua Bell is a poet, nerd, and long-time performer in the Canberra theatre scene. His particular interest is experimental and improvised theatre. His most recent efforts are being one of the creative minds between pub theatre show, Roll For Intelligence, a live and improvised performance based on everyone’s favourite tabletop RPGs, and contributing his poetry to Canberra Youth Theatre’s production, poem every day.

You can find Joshua Bell as part of pub theatre show Roll For Intelligence as well as the Lightbulb Improv troupe.

The Salt Room
The Salt Room presents poetry in its many forms. Featuring national, international and Territory poets alongside performers from varied disciplines. Organised by BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! and curated by Andrew Galan, the event is supported by the Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres and runs from March to November.

No comments:

Post a Comment