As writers, we are constantly searching for that creative space where we let all inhibitions go and bask in a moment of artistry and talent. We search out a certain environment where we can chat with other artists and like-minded individuals, discuss books and the intricacies of being a writer in the modern world or share the work we’ve poured ourselves into. Well, dear friends, look no further because the monthly Rhythm & Muse events are the perfect place to lay your heads (metaphorically) and happily sip a beer while listening to musicians play their music and writers recite their poetry or short works of prose.
This week, Stephanie and Cais explore the world of performance poetry, encouraging all local writers to check out January’s upcoming Rhythm & Muse (and maybe even jump up for the open mic if they so dare).
We find ourselves in a dark, blue room, silhouettes of a city skyline running the length of the walls. People speak in quiet tones around small wooden tables, awaiting the first poet to take the stage. It is a calm environment, reminiscent of the beat poetry clubs of an older age—the ideal space for an artist to present their work to the bibliophiles that have come to spend a night with other creative beings. The bill for the evening consists of a combination of poets, musicians, and lovers of the arts. Each person is staring eagerly at the stage as the minutes slip past, moving closer and closer to the show at hand.
And then it begins. We watch in silent admiration as the contributors of Rhythm & Muse take the stage, each distinct in their style and performances. No one poet or musician is like another. The performers range from young to mature, some presenting traditional forms, like haiku, and others reading more experimental pieces that focus on the sounds and abstract construction. Some present their words with such vivacious theatrical force that you forget you are sitting in the blue room.
Rhythm & Muse takes place in a small building behind The Grey Horse Pub on Richmond Street in Kingston Upon Thames. The audience has the convenience of a quiet room to sit and enjoy poetry while also being able to walk over into the pub and grab a pint. It is a unique sort of underground art space, hidden from the view of the street and the ideal arena for people who are part of the art community or looking for a creative experience.
First established by Poet Alison Hill in July of 2007, Rhythm & Muse is a fantastic platform for aspiring artists. Although many of the poets or musicians who perform at this event have work published, the community welcomes all writers and musicians with open arms. This event works in partnership with the Kingston University Writing School, having produced joint festivals in 2011 and 2012. Each Rhythm & Muse concludes with an open mic segment, allowing for newcomers to take the stage and break into the scene, hopefully inspiring them to come back and perform their work again in the upcoming months.
If you’re one for discovering new and well established poets, musicians and authors while sipping on your favourite pint, then be sure not to miss the upcoming installment. As always, the next event will take place at the Ram Jam Club in Kingston on Thursday, January 30th at 8:30pm. For £5 at the door the event will be featuring guest poet and London native John Greening. As a poet, playwright, author, critic, editor and lecturer, John Greening is the recipient of several awards for his works including the Bridport Prize, the Cholmondeley Award and the TLS Centenary Prize.
The evening will also be featuring music from Belgian violinist, Elphara. In addition to graduating from the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1997, Elphara released his first album in 2000 and has since played through out Europe and Asia. And, as always, the evening will conclude with open mic so we encourage you to jump up there and let your voice be heard.
Drop by January 30th and discover the experience of writers performing the work the way they intended it to be heard. Sometimes, hearing the words out loud can be a whole new artistic endeavour and, if you are so inclined, hearing your own words out loud in front of a crowd can be a rewarding experience. More about the event, venue, directions and the performers can be found online at www.rhythmandmuse.org. If you are interested in reading more on the special guest performers, information can be found at www.johngreening.co.uk and www.aguamusic.be/en/artist/elphara.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a Words Pauses Noises interview with creator of Rhythm & Muse, Alison Hill.