Two readings about music

Public reading is something I had absolutely NO experience of about six months ago. I’d spent about fifteen years scribbling away in a back room, telling nobody about it, mouthing the words quietly to myself when proof reading in case, god forbid, anyone heard it. The first time I went to my writing group and read something out – in front of other people – I was shaking that much I could hardly focus on the words on the page. My voice was all over the place and it gave away my nerves. That was in front of about ten people…

As of now, I’ve read in public a grand total of five times. I’m still not great at it, but I’m getting there. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t perform – I read. In quite a deadpan manner. I’m quite envious of the writers who can get up there and deliver a monologue as compellingly as a trained actor. Some of the guys at the New Libertines night were awesome at it. I don’t think I’ll ever be quite in that league, but at the same time I kind of like the deadpan approach – it probably suits me better anyway.

Someone said something quite surprising to me this week. A member of our writing group commented that I have a good reading voice, that it conveys the work well, that it has some gravitas. I have been told that once before but I didn’t believe it – I think my voice is a bit monotonous and lacks emotion. In any case, I wanted to put a reading up here on the blog – mostly just because it’s something a bit different from the usual text entries.  I’m willing to accept I may be wrong about how awful my voice is, but I remain convinced I have the proverbial ‘face for radio’, so no video I’m afraid – it’s audio only all the way…

In keeping with the often musical theme of this blog, I’ve done two short sections of different stories that both deal with music:

Short Extract from ‘Brand Awareness’

Short Extract from ‘Werner Herzog gets Shot’ (unpublished short story)


4 thoughts on “Two readings about music

  1. James Everington January 28, 2012 / 12:18 pm

    Good stuff…. but your audience demand a full video experience!

  2. Neil Schiller January 30, 2012 / 10:20 am

    James, there is no chance in hell I’m putting video up…

    Tried to leave a comment on your blog but the captcha control kept rejecting the text I entered for some reason!? Was just going to say I read your flash fiction piece about the first girlfriend. Thought that was brilliant. The movie role idea and acting out parts was a great conceit that worked so well. I remember feeling like that when I was about 14 and dumping a girl because I wanted to know what dumping someone was like. (To be fair, if I hadn’t gotten in there first, I think the writing was on the wall for me anyway)…

  3. James Everington February 1, 2012 / 5:49 pm

    Glad you liked it, that means a lot.

    I’ve struggled with a few captchas too recently – not sure if it’s a sign of poor technology or just impending middle-age killing off my braincells!

    • Neil Schiller February 1, 2012 / 6:03 pm

      James, yeah, I thought it was great. At that age, looking back, it was definitely like playing a role – what was it like to have a girlfriend, what did you do with a girlfriend? Sort of playing at being an adult and learning about it. I thought you captured that perfectly.

      I am also reading through The Other Room at the moment. Finally. I haven’t read a thing in months so I’m finally catching up a bit. Reading yours and a novel called In Search of Adam at the same time. I’m not that far in yet, on the second story at the moment, but I really like that one. The stream of consciousness of the lad being followed by the kids is brilliantly well observed I think…

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