Ben and Lorna’s Infinite Playlist

I’ve got an idea floating about in my head.

Each time I stop to think about it I seem to catch a slightly different perspective of it and the idea shifts away into something it wasn’t before.

The process goes something like this…

The lovely @lornaparsons said how much I’d enjoy the film Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist  (she was totally right, it’s a lovely film. Easy to watch, lovely sound track and some wonderful surprise bursts of braying laughter. Ace!)

Then I said to Lorna we should totally have our own version of an all-nighter around Birmingham with good indie music. (It probably couldn’t happen in the same way as the film.)

We then said it could be fun to have a seekrit gig arranged and lead our friends on a merry dance around Birmingham, showing them places we love and forcing them to listen to tunes we adore. They puzzle away through the evening ending up at a venue with us waiting for a party.

So far, so lovely and brilliant.

Then on the way home from my Greenbelt meeting on Saturday I got inspired again. The Real Tuesday Weld track “Last Words” popped up on my iphone, the sun was gently sinking in the sky, I was slowly falling in love with the world again and I thought it’d be fun to make the whole secret gig thing part of an ARG. Scritped blog posts from “Fake Ben” and “Fake Lorna”, played awesome tunes in my head. It was awesome telling one story in one linear fashion.

(I don’t have teh skillz to execute it perfectly so it’ll probably be brain crack for a while until someone else teaches me how or executes it perfectly for me)

Then yesterday I had a team away day with work. Totally unrelated to B&LIP (I love that the initials could be BLIP) and as I was walking away from work listening to music I had a sudden thought strike me which I tweeted so I know it wasn’t something I dreamt.

The tweet read “Oh! What a good idea! Tell two interlocking stories rather than one.” Which is cryptic even for me.

I had the sudden reveleation that it’d be possible to tell two audio stories which could be listened to as you walk a certain route through Birmingham. For the sake of argument we’ll call the male story “Ben” and the female story “Lorna” (and by this point Ben and Lorna are no longer biographical and don’t relate to the real Ben and Lorna in any way in my head).

Ben’s route would start outside Snow Hill Station and head down Colmore Row towards Victoria Square, down New Street and end at the Rotunda.

Lorna’s route would start at the ICC by the Rep, across Centenary Square, into Victoria Square, down New Street and end at the Rotunda.

I like the idea of the stories giving individual perspectives on the fiction. I also like the idea of the story covering the story of the relationship. Individual first, chance meeting (both stories hit that point at Victoria Square, maybe at an outdoor music event, something at the Town Hall), relationship progressing (as you move down New Street) and then where they are now when you reach the Rotunda.

I’d like the two stories to be able to stand alone but walking both routes with the stories would give you something extra. I also think that it’d be nice to have proper dialogue for the Victoria Square section, as you stand there with the empty and off fountain, council house and Town Hall you get to hear both Lorna and Ben chatting together before moving off down New Street.

Two projects spring to mind that have a similar vibe to this:

Duncan Speakman’s “As if this were the last time” that came to Birmingham last year. It had a two individual but interlocking mp3’s to it. (Lost and Found) You followed the instructions, listened to the music and tried to be invisible.

Nicole Blackman’s “Stay away from Lonely Places” piece for Fierce has a similar storytelling, location based vibe to it. (I’ve got a copy of the MP3 saved somewhere, need to hook it out) You trudged the streets of Digbeth listening to stories- some might be true, some might be made up, all were inspiring. You weaved back on yourself at points, the streets of Digbeth felt huge but also felt very self contained too.

So that’s B&LIP. From tweet conversation to germ of a project.

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This entry was posted in Birmingham, Brain Crack, Idea, music, storytelling and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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