After bumbling around Hackney lost for 10min or so I finally find the right street and Lucy's Studio. I last spoke properly to Lucy during summer 2014 when she was organising several parties across the world linked through the web as part of a durational performance art festival based in Seattle. I was working at NozStock at the same time, and knowing how terrible my signal would become once amongst the green fields of Hereford I recorded a few video blogs as a contribution. I like Lucy, she's blunt, funny and courageous. We eat by the Canal and catch up; we talk about Hackney, about London changing, how we really don't want to fall in that fucking canal, how Lucy is missing someone she loves, how her work is trying to address the change she perceives in the community, a change in tone, its language becoming less London and more well spoken, more polite, how it's abrasiveness belies a honesty where 'fuck off fucking you twat' is a turn of endearment, and how we're both knackered through busy weeks and lack of sleep. Afterwards we prepare the space for film about the history of Taiwan a New Yorker is showing that evening. We bugsy the best seats in the Studio and with authentic Taiwanese beers in hand do our best to stay awake. One of us does better than the other.
The next day the Studio drip feeds towards lunch time, where for the first time all the artist involved in One Note Missing opening meet; Ana, Spike, Richard, Alun, Lucy and Myself, are reunited with Marina. Just back from 8 months travelling Marina is struck with the importance of finally having 'a space', one solid traceable place to be after all the travel, she feels grounded and it's a significant change in pace. A yogi teacher and artist Marina has cultivated and projects an energy of calming sincere presence which resonates in everything she does. This energy is especially evident in Practice for my Death Bed, a work of Marina's that I experienced in Whitstable.
I've decided by this point to audition for a new Sibling, so Paul is there in conversations, others tell me about their siblings, how they don't get seeing them enough, the friends and relatives they've lost.
It's a funny one; I've spent the last few years avoiding bringing Paul up in conversations, either out of a worry of making a person who doesn't know uncomfortable or upsetting some one. I ran this by a friend;
'Yeah, I sort of understand that way of thinking, but what's it going to do, hurt me more than the death itself? No, but I'll remember how much I loved them and knowing I won't see them again hurts. But there's the sweet spot before the knowing you'll never see them again washes over you. That sweet spot is worth the pain.' I remember watching The Alps at 229 High Street, Volcano Theatre's Space in Swansea. The narrative follows a group of actors who are hired out as substitutes of lost loved ones to help ease the grieving process. The film is full of awkwardness, characters never seem convinced with their substitutions. It makes me think of Paul and a friend called Jay both whom have died, the passions we shared and the irreplaceable energy they created. With this in mind sitting on the balcony I perform and record a song to share before the event on Sunday.
The next two days consist of chance encounters and conversation, exhaustion with academia and Athens, duels on and inside pianos ('does it have to be a competition?'), well behaved pubs next to parks, football matches, Tarquin on a gap yah, Bamboo spoons (FYI, Bamboo is a grass), a graffiti spotted on a nearby wall reading 'I came, I took some MDMA, My parents bought me a flat' ('Hackney in a nutshell'), tales of life drifting in unpredictable ways, a Scottish vegetarian working at a fish market, a Canadian who was pen pals with the members of the Manson family, drinking too much and sleeping too little.
And I find this picture, already framed, in Lucy's Studio...
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