The Ghost Jam experiment – October 2015 – brought together a group of artists, writers and performers, most of whom knew at least some of the others. The venue was the scout-hut in Crickhowell, a small town in Powys. There was a small audience.
The group comprised a visual artist, Penny Hallas, who had made two films for the occasion, eight poets/writers and a movement artist called Emma Lewis-Jones, from Nottingham, whose role was to respond in any way she saw fit to what was happening. Of the poets, two – Graham Hartill and Lyndon Davies – also played saxophones and percussion, and another – Rhys Trimble – also played the drums. The other poets/artists/performers were: Allen Fisher, Wanda O’Connor, Camilla Nelson, Steven Hitchins, Tilla Brading and John Goodby. Steve Groves did the sound.
The participants gathered in a meeting room at the scout hut prior to the performance, to outline what they thought their contributions might consist in, but it quickly became apparent that there would be no, or very little planning of the event itself, apart from the positioning of the camera, the film projector and an agreement as to how the performance would commence. Some of the performers would be working with prepared texts, but beyond that, the whole thing was improvised.
Two Films of the Event
The films linked here provide a rough record of the event. The camera ran out of power before the end, and so the final part of the film has been cobbled together from reversed sections, still images and a short sequence from Penny Hallas’ film. Technical problems, particularly regarding the synchronisation of sound and image, required a few cuts and fades to be inserted here and there.
It needs to be emphasised that this event should be seen as a first rough rehearsal for some theoretical future event and that all the participants will have their own ideas on where the weaknesses lie and what they would do to improve things (kick the barking dog out earlier might be one, though some enjoyed the slightly demonic aspect of this intervention). All the same, the feeling seems to be that there are things here which work and are worth preserving and perhaps developing.