I remember sitting with Robbie. We’re in a pub. We each have a pint of beer and are waiting to order some baos from Deckhard’s. We’re talking about a project about memory. As our minds dance and we discuss all the other things that we’re working on Robbie mentions Haiku Salut and their Christmas shows.
I’ve known and loved Haiku Salut for many years. They’re a local Derby band, so they have a special place in my heart. They’re really well known for their live lamp shows which involve multiple lamps from different eras which light up the stage and flash on and off as they play. It’s a sight to behold. So Robbie is the lampist… Like Fischinger’s dream, he plays light like an instrument. Eye music. So anyway, Robbie explains that Haiku want to expand on the lamp show in some way… They’re not sure what but they were thinking about projections. What follows is a mush of memories as we feasted on ideas in some kind of creative frenzy, it lasts all of 15 minutes but we draw a few ideas and experience pulses of dopamine from a flurry of Eureka moments as an idea unfolds from our synchronised minds. Memories, place, time… Spanning time… Windows into the future, picture frames, portals through time… It’s a fond memory.
What we were doing was making sense out of something abstract. We saw the live performances taking place in a house. A house that has history. The myriad of lamps are all the lamps that have lit the space throughout it’s time. Each lamp has a story, maybe it was bought because it looked just right next to those red velvet curtains, maybe it was handed down to the newly wedded couple, and maybe its story continued beyond the boundaries of the house… Maybe it moved on and the house was only a temporary home, maybe this house was the last place it got to shine its light, the last place it got to make feel cosy and warm. Each lamp lived a lonely life within the house, never meeting any of the other lights with which they shared the role of illumination. But the Haiku gigs are where these timelines collide, a meeting of lights, a gathering of ghosts. But this meeting isn’t just for those whose time has passed, it’s also for the memories of what’s yet to come.
If you stretch out all of time in one place, you may get an overwhelming sense of nihlism… All of this that we consider so unique within our lives has happened before… Over and over again. When you see how many people of been and gone in this place, all the beautiful and terrible things that have or will have happened it can remove the meaning of everything. But rather than saying “What’s the point?”, if you step back and see beauty in the chaos, you can take just a few connected elements and make your own story from it. “There is no god, no heaven or hell, so we alone must figure out how to make life meaningful and good.”
So that was our starting point. To create a place which spans time and brings together these connected moments to build new meaning from them. We didn’t have a huge amount of time or any money, but we spent a few weekends and evenings figuring out the tech, refining some ideas and then building a story.