Bartalk a musical expression into an exploration of psychological stress caused by solitary confinement.  

Whatever perspective one explores, be it an inmate or as we have discovered in 2020, the planet is experiencing all levels of isolation as:- quarantine, loneliness, solitude, confinement, seclusion, remoteness, insulation, retreat, separation, detachment. The pandemic has made the world stop and take a breath as well as create an understanding around the theme of isolation.  Bartalk is an intimate performance on how a rhythmic storyteller has coped with isolation and entrapment.  

Bartalk, is a two staged work created first as a durational solo installation for speaking percussionists which will be filmed at the Dry Stone Wall Maze in Dalby Forest in TBA May/June 2022. 

What a sneak preview HERE

I will take the position of the 'unknown'  centered inside the maze gradually succumbing to its effects, articulated through a series of soliloquies.  The maze, as a symbol, is deeply rooted in mythology. It has very close associations with the conditions and entrapments of mental illness as well as having alignments with the concept of incarceration and so, in both design and metaphor, the Dry Stone Wall Maze as an ideal location. This immense structure is designed and built by Mark Ellis, a specialist dry stone waller and when complete it will be one of the largest dry stone wall constructions in the world. The documentation will include different cameras, including a drone, to increase the prison metaphor and the Kafkaesque prison system.  

Bartalk is part of a larger multi-artform project collaborating with sculptor, Peter Maris, who combines his fine-art training at St Martins with extensive experience as a stonecarver, most notably at York Minster. Peter is currently commissioned by Forestry England to make a series of works located around Dalby Forest funded separately by Arts Council England. A major part of Peter's project, will include a carved, but functioning, QR code into his stonework to be exhibited at Dalby Forest. On one level, this would serve as a visually interesting thematic association, but, more engagingly, would also work as an active portal to reveal the Bartalk work which the public can have access to in and out of Dalby Forest stored upon a specific project website. 

In the final phase of Bartalk I will compose a cross genre monodrama for the Ligeti Quartet and myself as speaking percussionist.  I will treat the string quartet as an extension of my limbs and influenced by Samuel Beckett's theatre of the absurd, I will narrate the piece from behind a soundproof cell, completely isolated from the quartet and audience. Due to the impact, this will have on the piece and performance, the sound engineer will be part of the compositional process as well as the performance. This is a stark visual metaphor but also has a practical use with regards to mixing and amplification. 

Tour Dates Are:

April 6 - Queens Head, Monmouth 

April 9 - The Band Room, Low Mill, Farndale, Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, YO62 7UY 

April 10 - Northeast Jazz, Newcastle 

April 11 - The Old Hair, Glasgow 

April 30 - St. Giles Church, London

We are trilled to announce the Arts Council of England has awarded Bartalk through the National Lottery grant scheme which will now includes a premiere and tour next year throughout the U.K with the Ligeti Quartet.  This was only made possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and PRS Music Foundation.  More information about this coming soon.