When I think about the music scene of Glasgow, I think about community.
It feels important to visit my understanding and interest in performance for this blog seeing as I’ve spent time explaining what my connection to punk is. I’ve been thinking about Mutual Curiosity: A look at participatory practice in Scotland. While this documentary isn't explicitly about the moment performance meets an audience, it highlight's where my understanding of performance making comes from. Having worked with Junction 25 as a performer and a devisor, the comments made by current members of the group ring true. This film gives an insight into the performance community within Glasgow that I've grown with and come from.
Said by Eilidh Bryant, a current member of Junction 25, the group is:
about expressing how you feel in an artistic and relatable way. And so doing that is really good because you’re able to be in a safe environment and talk about what’s important to you, but also make it enjoyable and available to other young people.
This is exactly what I feel performance can and should be about for both artists and audiences. It should be about making and reflecting on a topic that is important to discuss, learn and experience by our-selves and with other people.
Earlier on in the documentary, Pete Sparkes the Artistic Director of Drake Music Scotland quotes Markku Kaikkonen who is a music teacher in Finland. He says:
I am a music teacher, it is my job to give people music.
This makes me think about what my job is. I am a curating producer. I think it is my job to support the ideas and interests of artists so they are best placed to meet their audience. This also means that I must consider the needs and wants of the audience. My job is to make and support live happenings that mutually benefit both artist and audience.
What has this got to do with the links between contemporary performance and punk?
I want to work with artists who make work that responds to the here and now. I want to support work that aims to inspire or make political change. I want to find methods that allow individuals to feel a part of something bigger than themselves.
I’m about community.
I use the term ‘community’ loosely. I use the word to convey a sense of togetherness with a group of people.
Thinking back to my previous post where I mention Milk Teeth’s rider, I’m wondering about the role the artist plays within the system they are working in. For example, while it is in the tour agreement between the booker and the venue what a band will be greeted with, I think about what the artist playing the show can do to inspire a sense of community when they arrive. You can’t buy a good atmosphere.
I’m thinking that this project is taking a step away from being about the venue where artists meet their audience. I’m thinking this project is taking a step toward being about the artist and how they’re practice informs the site they perform in.
At the beginning of this post, I mention that the music scene of Glasgow makes me feel like I am a part of a community. Right now, I feel like that community exists solely because artists travel to meet their audiences here. Audiences travel to meet artists here. While site plays a part of this meeting – it is the place where people come together – I realise that what is important about this community is the people. Perhaps it is how audiences and artists communicate directly to one another that interests me, not site.
Perhaps I’m looking at the principles of community.