Monday, 10 December 2007


Brilliant Noise: Semiconductor Films

A sparky few days for writing. On The Fiction Workhouse we are in the middle of a Blastette ( a little blast...) of writing to prompts, posted my Mel. This one started Saturday evening at 8.00 pm and finishes tomorrow evening, same time.

This is the fourth event like this, the idea being that whatever you are doing between those times, and can grab a spare ten minutes or maybe a bit longer, you leap to the computer, open a prompt and just write, then post for feedback.

Theres no obligation to try to produce perfectly formed pieces, although sometimes they do appear. Mainly, it's a way of opening things up, finding new voices, characters, connections... sometimes it is a few lines, sometimes a complete 'story'.

In the middle of all this I escaped to Brighton, to FABRICA, where The South had organised a fascinating writing workshop.

Led by poet Jackie Wills (see below for bio) we watched a film (Brilliant Noise, by Semiconductor Films)in black and white (see above) of sunspots, solar flares... accompanied by an extraordinary soundtrack. natural radio sounds from space, enhanced and mixed. The sights and sounds fed off each other. We made notes of the connections in our heads as we watched.

First, we wrote free, from the most surprising connections. Circus and holocaust... a dissonant mix, powerful images. I'll go back to that.

Then, something I found really hard (that's good!!) creating a soundtrack in words for an inanimate object with no inherent sound of its own.

We discussed the concept of the magnetic poles shifting, and wrote from that... mine was an extremely silly but creative monologue. Sometimes its lovely to just let go and be daft.

A very good, thought-provoking few hours.


Jackie Wills' fourth collection of poetry, Commandments, is published this autumn. Her first, Powder Tower, was shortlisted for the 1995 TS Eliot Prize and in 2004 she was one of Mslexia magazine's top 10 new women poets. Her work has appeared in anthologies, BBC News Online, national newspapers and BBC Radio Four.

1 comment:

TitaniaWrites said...

Sounds totally wild! I love the idea of a film of sunspots and solar flares... you know how I got really into the whole Sun thing! I'd love to read what you wrote. Good for The South, what a brilliant idea.