One of the projects I'm doing at the moment involves writing poetry inspired by the massive (approx.) 8,000 pipe organ at the Royal Festival Hall. I'm enjoying the opportunity to "geek out"; various organ-knowledge gathering sessions over the weekend/evenings, watching YouTube videos of mad organists, trying to makes sense of diagrams which show different chambers, stops and pedals. I never knew my life would come to this.
Pull Out All the Stops is a festival taking place at the Southbank Centre in Spring to celebrate their organ and I'm looking forward to it. It's a monstrous beast with an interesting - and even controversial - history, and it's great to be able to explore this. Completely out of my usual writing zone and yet, I'm already starting to find odd connections with other things I care about.
So far, I have pages and pages of notes I'm working through - and already have about 6 first-draft poems and sketches. It's great to approach my writing this way, large volumes of writing and paring it down chunk by chunk...
It's difficult not to create double-entendres. The only way around it is to go mysterious and dark. Apologies to Robert Frost for jumping on one of his poems, in one of my notes:
"The world will not end in fire/ ice or trumpets sounding twice/ but in the organ / God of metal, wood, breath, bones / blood"
Will keep you posted on this...