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.
Music: Toby Armstrong
Words: Philip Nanton
Voices: Varia Williams, Simon Alleyne and Philip Nanton Recorded at Red Studios, Barbados Remixed: 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.