day 5

This blog is a little late but the aftermath of day 5 was rather large this time round. And so Original Cultures London 2010 ends just as quick as it begun in many ways. Everyone has left and life is slowly returning to normal.

The last day was a blur for me. The artists spent the first half of the day putting the finishing touches to their work before we were let into the venue at 2pm to set up. With only 4 hours to get everything up and running, soundchecked, tested and so on there was a fair bit of pressure to say the least. And despite our original worries that 4 hours may not be enough, it proved plenty. Considering the difference in venue between Bologna 09 and London ’10 I’m not really that surprised – however I did have my doubts until the last minute. Where Bologna was a ‘proper’ venue, our London venue was much smaller and not really equipped for what we had envisaged. This didn’t stop us from putting together make shift columns and a ‘stage’ out of tables and barrels. Creativity can’t be stopped.

We kicked off the show a little later than planned to let the venue fill up. Things got underway with a little solo from Tatsuki, who performed the two tracks he wrote for us live (check the soundcloud to hear them), before Om Unit and Tayone joined him for the 40 or so minutes of music they’d spent three days putting together. From electro to house and hip hop, the set felt a lot more cohesive this time and the music a lot less improvised. While the guys were busy making heads nods and bodies move, Hiraki, Ericailcane and Will sat behind their laptops controlling three projectors and a variety of hand-drawn animations they’d spent the previous days creating.

To have the visuals more involved in the live show this time round was a real highlight for me. Whereas in Bologna they sort of set up their installation and let it run for the night, this time they were actually involved in the live show which really made the difference and left many people speechless – including us.

The night ended with Tayone showing London just why he’s Italy’s best, and considering the feedback from his set from those I spoke to I really hope he gets another chance to come back and show his stuff as he really deserves it. It’s funny, I’ve been trying to get him to London for 5 years and it feels good to have finally managed to do it, especially in a situation like this.

We all had a celebratory dinner on the Saturday, before some of us left and then on the Sunday we had a rather surreal cinema session. We went to see the new Banksy film with Will, Ericailcane and DEM which was a totally crazy experience as the movie speaks about their ‘scene’ to a degree but also people and things they’ve had an indirect hand in. All in all though it was the perfect way to round up the week and it was nice to see everyone relaxing and smiling.

With London now done, the only city left for us is Tokyo before we embark on a new cycle of events with new artists. Right now it’s a bit early to say when it will happen but I for one know that if we’ve managed to come this far we’ll definitely make it all the way over there. Realistically it probably won’t happen for another year and whether or not we do something else in the meantime is still undecided. Stay tuned and find out as we do. I would love to take the show on the road to other cities and countries, and I think that’s a possibility in the meantime while we sort out how Tokyo will happen.

A huge thanks and eternal gratitude goes to the artists for their passion, hard work and dedication to a project that is as much theirs as it is ours. I never tire of marveling at the power of an idea I had nearly 2 years ago in bringing people together. More thanks and gratitude go to my fellow organisers Cris, Yass and Ale without whom this project would have never happened. I will always be in your debt guys. Thanks also to all those who came from far and wide to help us and those who supported and worked with us: Davide, Fabio, Luca, Stewart, Brian, Caitlin, Beth and Richard at Stolen Space, Tom, Charlie, Andy, Paul, Cristina, Bonsai TV, Samurai FM, and anyone I forgot. And last but not least huge thanks to the public who came and supported and followed us online.

You can find a round up of all the week’s action at the following links and stay tuned for videos and audio coming up in the next few weeks.

Peace!

Original Cultures London 2010 online:
http://originalcultures.tumblr.com – daily blogs with photos and video
www.vimeo.com/originalcultures – all the videos
www.flickr.com/photos/original_cultures – all the photos
www.facebook.com/originalcultures – all the Facebook action
www.originalcultures.org/events/blogs/ – all the daily blogs

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