On Saturday the 26th of May, Fundamental Conduit, Paisley’s new spoken word/musical group will bring their first show to Callum’s Cavern.
The group, which originally started as an experimental project run by Gwen McKerrell, the director of the show and Chiara Pacitti, the musical director, as an off-shoot from the Paisley Pen and Paper group, is a collaboration between local poets and musicians to create a performance unlike any other Paisley has seen before.
Chiara explained how the project started: “Me and Gwen came up with this idea of collaborating the writing and the music together. So I suggested to Gwen that we get some musicians and see what happens. When we had the first rehearsal, we decided to get more people involved and build on it. Then word of mouth got round and more people joined.”
The way that the project works is that the writers send their poems to the musicians who then write the music to go alongside. Any changes are put forward at rehearsals but Chiara says it is rare that many changes are needed: “Sometimes with some poems people will be like, ‘Can we not have a break here?’ or ‘I’d rather these verses were divided.’ We’re always really aware of ownership and how people keep their work their own because it’s a really fine line between ownership and collaboration. Meaning, how much you can collaborate until it’s not yours anymore.”
The poems talk about a range of themes, from immigration to identity and they are all performed alongside a soundtrack of synth heavy ambient compositions.
Performances are also varied with some choosing to be particularly theatrical with their readings, and others delivering a more subdued delivery. This is partially due to some of the writers having little experience on the stage.
Pacitti said: “It’s really important to tackle performance anxiety because a lot of people here, this is the first time they’re performing their poetry and they have a lot of performance anxiety. It’s something we need to tackle because the whole point in it is to enjoy yourself.”
Fundamental Conduit are performing at Callum’s Cavern on Sneddon Street on Saturday the 26th of May and there will be a £5 entry fee.