Audios & Videos

Image by Mario Porchetta

Reading from Riff: The Shake Kean Story


Video contribution to World Storytelling Cafe, Poetry Section. 

First aired April 2020.


In January 2018 Canouan Suite and Other Pieces was recognized by the judges at the Cuban Casa de las Americas awards for Anglophone Caribbean Literature as “a stunning collection of poems that establishes a connection with visual artists of the Caribbean” and that it “stands out for its stylistic and tonal diversity”. I wanted to extend the collaborative working form that project so I went into Red Studio here in Barbados earlier this year. With the musician/sound engineer Toby Armstrong and the actors Varia Williams and Simon Alleyne we played around with some of the poems from this collection. Here are some of the results.

This first piece, ‘Kitchen Combo‘, was from an exercise that I set some of my poetry students. It’s an often used exercise where participants choose one object from a range to write about. The only object that was not chosen was the kitchen grater. I took up the challenge to work on it and this was the result.

Kitchen Combo

MUSIC: TOBY ARMSTRONG
WORDS: PHILIP NANTON
VOICES: VARIA WILLIAMS, SIMON ALLEYNE AND PHILIP NANTON                                                                                                                                                                                                                               RECORDED AT RED STUDIOS, BARBADOS                                                                                                                                                                                                                             REMIXED AT LOFTUS STUDIOS, LONDON

Another piece in the collection came about form many visits to jazz concert weekends at Farley Hill in the Barbados countryside. I decided to write about the audience rather than the music or the musicians. ‘All that Jazz‘ was the result.

All that Jazz

MUSIC: TOBY ARMSTRONG
WORDS: PHILIP NANTON
VOICES: VARIA WILLIAMS, SIMON ALLEYNE AND PHILIP NANTON                                                                                                                                                                                                                               RECORDED AT RED STUDIOS, BARBADOS                                                                                                                                                                                                                             REMIXED AT LOFTUS STUDIOS, LONDON

Punctuation Marks‘ plays with issues of size, history and Caribbean location from a Vincentian perspective.

Punctuation Marks

MUSIC: TOBY ARMSTRONG
WORDS: PHILIP NANTON
VOICES: SIMON ALLEYNE, VARIA WILLIAMS AND PHILIP NANTON                                                                                                                                                                                                                               RECORDED AT RED STUDIOS, BARBADOS                                                                                                                                                                                                                             REMIXED AT LOFTUS STUDIOS, LONDON

This recording of ‘Barbados Night‘, more like Bridgetown at night, mixes sound effects with voice.

Barbados Night

WORDS: PHILIP NANTON
VOICES: SIMON ALLEYNE, VARIA WILLIAMS AND PHILIP NANTON                                                                                                                                                                                                                               RECORDED AT RED STUDIOS, BARBADOS                                                                                                                                                                                                                             REMIXED AT LOFTUS STUDIOS, LONDON

I was asked to write lyrics for the Gene Lawrence piece ‘Chatoyea‘ to be found on his CD – Melemelanj: A Gene Lawrence Project. The following recording was the result.

MUSIC: GENE LAWRENCE
WORDS: PHILIP NANTON                                                                                                                                                                                                                             RECORDED AT RED STUDIOS, BARBADOS                                                                                                                                                                                                                             REMIXED AT LOFTUS STUDIOS, LONDON

A piece for two voices:

Flotsam and Jetsam

WORDS: PHILIP NANTON
VOICES: VARIA WILLIAMS AND PHILIP NANTON                                                                                                                                                                                                                               RECORDED AT RED STUDIOS, BARBADOS                                                                                                                                                                                                                             REMIXED AT LOFTUS STUDIOS, LONDON