The measure of it

Artist’s residency at Plymouth Arts Centre

14.50 BATTER STREET deep blue break time [THUNDER OF TRAINERS ON WOODEN STAIRS]. Simon comes to check everything’s ok.

THE MEASURE OF IT: I use the window as a lightbox, scrape the skin of the film, peel back strips of emulsion with the blade. [THE FLY DOES A LITLE BUZZY DANCE] Leaning on the glass I am in/outside, my vision flexing. A youth on the phone outside the door [AND HE SAID WHAT?] (His voice breaking into the mouthpiece).

15.08 ring Caroline at home.

My fingers pressed into the cool smoothness of the pane [ON THE OTHER SDE OF THE DOOR AN INVISIBLE HAND RAPS A TIN DRUM] percussive score of the blade on filmstrip. All grey outside, the fly crawls up the window and dreams. [HUM OF CENTRAL HEATING AND TICKING OF AN AIRLOCK IN THE RADIATOR] On the other side the glass is smeared with the residue of salty rain and the splash of a gull shit comet speeding towards 1 o’clock/north north east

15.36 an unknown man with tattooed arms enters the room [TYRES SPEED ACROSS THE COBBLES; MALE VOICES TALKING]

SCORE
The banana [MEWLING ADOLESCENT GULLS] a flow of short cuts; staccato incisions on the clementine peel
[MANLY WHOOP! OH YES! (in a panto-Birmigham accent) CU-PA-TIE?] The air bitty with moisture, a light drizzle; gulls arc through the sky above the wet rooftops

[TAPPING FAST RHYTHM WITH DRUMSTICK ON THE DOOR] I scratch the surface of the film as the sycamore leaves sway ; a man and woman walk down Batter Street below my window under a black umbrella [MEN LAUGHING IN THE MUSIC ROOM. YES: ALL-RIGHT! A FIREDOOR OPENS SWING AND SHUTS THUD]

16.26 The edges of buildings dissolve in the rain [SLAM!] sycamore leaves trickle across the frame from upper right to lower left, become light trails seen for a moment in the deep darkness of the screen. [SING-SONG MUM’S VOICE: NEARLY THERE, NEARLY THERE]

16.43 EAT THE LAST CLEMENTINE [HURRAY! OHH! CLACK OF DRUMSTICKS] Raindrops strung like beads, colour drained from distant buildings. [SPLATTER OF WATER ON THE SKYLIGHTS: SWISH, WASH, SWISH, WASH] [SIZZLE OF TYRES] The measure of the day.

EVERY FRAME COUNTS: numbering each frame from the beginning to the end bit. A (young?) woman with straightened strawberry-tint hair clacks down the hill in buff suede high heel boots. [ALTERNATOR SQUEAK. SEVERAL CARS SLOW DOWN TO PASS]

[DRUM LOOPS OF VARYING COMPOSITION AND INTENSITY. MALE VOICES. GET A BIT ROUGH OVER THE TOP OF IT!] Running water, the reservoir fills. [MAGPIE CLACK FROM THE MIDDLE OF A SYCAMORE TREE]

17.25 207 frames [SLAM! ...I DIDN“T MEAN TO SLAM THAT - SORRY! FOOTSTEPS ON STAIRS] [SLAM]

17.28 EMPTY DRAWING
The keys to the door/s - where they fell

17.32 Full-on driving rain [WOMAN’S VOICE IMPLORING] (cinema trailer) Over and out. Upload