The Wringing in Your Ear
My postings tend to be sporadic, more regular while I am teaching (as I am now). I often wonder what exactly to write about, obviously I speak mostly about my work with short texts giving some context. This has not been really satisfying as I am not certain that can be called “writing”.
There is still going to be a work posted at the end but first a story.
It is a story about how I crossed from childhood to the harsh reality of the real world. I actually remember hearing a loud crack at that very moment. It was a Sunday morning 44 years ago, I was 12. I got up and went downstairs to make myself some breakfast (I have always been an early riser). My favourite cereal then was Rice Crispies.
My Dad was at the kitchen table drinking tea and playing solitaire as was his regular routine. I remember the sounds of the cereal popping and the flick of cards on the table. As always, the radio was on and tuned to CBC radio (when that still meant something).
But it was a special day and Terrence McKenna was making a report from Jonestown. This was two days after the mass suicide. McKenna was walking around the compound describing what he was seeing and his voice was muffled because he was holding a rag over his mouth and nose because of the smell. Any search online using Jonestown Massacre with give you many more details. In short a cult leader (Rev. Jim Jones) went psychotic and made his followers drink Kool-aid mixed with cyanide. 900 people died that day and I was no longer a child… forever.
The piece linked below was made early in my career at Grenfell and was my first foray into sound/video art. You will hear the voices of Jim Jones, Terrence McKenna, and excerpts of an old CBC television show called “Front Page Challenge” and of course my own voice fades in and out. This is by far the most obviously personal work I have made. Of course all work is personal in some respects but this one was almost autobiographical.