Some stories from outside.

Joe Belknap Wall telling stories

I’ve been experimenting with ways of telling stories on stage. I’m drifting away from the scripted, the cut-and-dried, and the composed in favor of the kind of stories you tell around the campfire or in a bar, surrounded by new friends and old. I’m using improvisational electronics to score these stories and stepping up on stage with just a single index card with a collection of waypoints to remind myself where I am in case I drift off the subject, and I’m increasingly happy to work in this loose and natural mode. Stories come in and out of focus, I find the point, lose it again, and work my way back. It feels like the kind of thing I’ve been trying to do ever since the first time I set foot on a stage with a synthesizer and a microphone, nearly thirty years ago.

This time around, I was thinking about stories from outside, from just off the beaten path, just beyond the edge of the highway, where we find meaning in unexpected places.

This is the live-from-the-mixing-board recording from my performance on Sunday, August 6, 2017 as part of the 13th Annual Electro-Music Festival, at the Irving Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Listen:

[photo © 2017 Elaine Marschik]

Electro-Music Festival 2017

13TH ANNUAL ELECTRO-MUSIC FESTIVAL poster

I’ll be performing a piece for spoken word and electronics on Sunday, 6 August 2017 at 2:30 PM as part of the 13th Annual Electro-Music Festival at the Irving Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana [directions]. The entire weekend is a long-form celebration of electronic, electro-acoustic, and experimental music that runs the alphabetic gamut from the abrasively new to the zestfully soothing, with a three-day bill jam-packed with amazing musicians I’ve had the pleasure to work with and otherwise revel in for several years now. I’m bringing my combination of left-field storytelling and digital atmospherics to the party, and I get to spend the rest of the time enjoying and educating myself in how it’s done.

All ages show – tickets at the door
Weekend pass $25, or by day: Friday $10, Saturday $15, Sunday $12

[Poster design by Jack Hertz]

QUEERING Sound 2017 // Spoken Word + Digital Media

I went acoustic for the first time ever for the 2017 Queering Sound spoken word show hosted by Sonic Circuits and Rhizome DC, performing a version of my story about a particularly awkward career move to the accompaniment of live banjo instead of my usual consort of digital instrumentation.

It was an interesting venture into more traditional storytelling for me and a big break from my usual obsessive need for control of every aspect of the sonic underpinning of my stories…and it went particularly well. Looking forward to more events of this type in the future, and am grateful to Sonic Circuits and Rhizome DC for hosting and inviting me to be a part of this show. If you’re unfamiliar with either of these organizations, I’d encourage you to check them out—good art comes from here!

Standing up at Stoop.

7 February 2017 – The Sex Show

Told a story as a part of the Stoop Storytelling Series – The Sex Show. The theme of the evening was sex, so I naturally shared a story of my own in which there was no sex at all, at least on my part, as I’m generally inclined to approach everything sideways, dealing reality a glancing blow.

I was honored to be invited to share the stage with nine amazing storytellers for an evening of lurid tales of the lascivious side of life, though my tale is less about actual sex and more about the tragic excesses of one’s early thirties, odd career choices, and the things you’ll do because of a crush.


You can listen to my story and the other wonderful tales from that night at The Stoop Storytelling Series – The Sex Show page, and you should do yourself a favor and subscribe to the Stoop’s fabulous and utterly free podcast via iTunes or your favorite podcast app. I can’t endorse Stoop enough—it’s just such a treasure for the Maryland region, and for storytelling wherever you are.