Thursday, 8 April 2010

Musician's Fear of the Unexpected Performance

 
 
There is a pathway which either begins or ends at Park Hill Road in the Birmingham suburb of Harborne. It was once a railway line which disappeared around 1964. Now tidied-up for the leisure-strollers, it took me to Summerfield Park, Winson  Green. 

 
Momentum from the hike carried me through the park towards an intriguing red-brick building whose door is always open and windows shut. I had escaped the curve of the Harborne to Monument Lane Railway  - by slingshot I moved tangentially along my very own branch line.

 
I had little idea of what lay beyond the doorway ahead. From the outside looking in, I could see... more of the outside. It did not make a great deal of sense. Was this building merely a facade? A fake station on the invisible railway?
 
 
In retrospect, I should have realised its more earthly purpose, but after such a long walk - I had started in Selly Park and had spent most of the time thinking abstractly  about enigmatic traces of history - my expectations had evolved into ethereal demands.

 
Stepping through the doorway, I was surprised to find myself once more on stage. How many sweaty dreams have involved this scenario? At least there was no audience and I still had my trousers on. But still, it jolted me. A dream spike - a slip into and out of the incommensurable hollow.  


A solo performance for grass blades and daisies was improvised. I performed internally, was dramatic with myself; cutting a ridiculous, tragic figure in two. One body embarked for the centre of the Earth, the other returned to his duties on the asylum farm. 



So when I part from the last station, and cross the Navigation, 
I wish to be the light that dances under the Asylum Bridge. 


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