27 January 2015

Demolition of the Recording

Musician Sean O'Brien (aka Joe Blossom) talks about Duncan Sarkies and The Demolition of the Century.

In film, people talk of method actors. I think of Duncan Sarkies as a method writer. His prose is first person narrative and one of the ways he dials up the world through which his characters bumble, stumble and crumble is through music. Each character has a carefully curated soundtrack – much in the same way anyone born post 1950 has their own personal life soundtrack. Life remembered in 4/4… 6/8… or 7/8.

When you come to The Demolition of the Century you hear the music that moved Duncan into mode. You hear the yelp of Charlie Feathers, the sexual howl of Gene Vincent and the tender confessions of Nina Simone. The music frames each piece of the show and speaks of the subconscious stream flowing between the characters speaking.

I’ve always enjoyed Duncan’s taste in music, as he’s an avid mix-tape maker. So I knew working on this show would take me into new territory and help me grow as a songwriter.

What I love about doing this sort of thing is delving into the craft of someone else’s songwriting. Because I’m performing these pieces solo, I have to strip away all signature elements of a recorded work, but in doing so find what seems to be the essence of a writer’s intention. Looking for deconstruction and hopefully not demolition of the recording.

The spoken word and the sense of theatre enrich that experience for me. Lends a unique purpose.

The Demolition of the Century opens 31 January and runs until 21 February. To book, visit www.circa.co.nz or call the Circa Box Office on 801-7992.

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