The Watchman Then

 "The Watchman" debuted as part of Doubledotbash, a music Festival at South Street Arts Centre in Reading Saturday 17th July 2010.

 The Watchman was created specifically for the San Francisco Room, an upstairs room at the old Labour Exchange.

I approached the piece from a theatrical perspective and saw it as an ongoing performance that people could visit for any length of time throughout the night.

The room was dressed in builder's polythene to create an enclosed space behind which were placed four separate sound sources, each source playing a distinct part of "The Watchman" soundscape. Whilst two played a 53 minute piece (one forwards and the other backwards that would collide at certain points) another source played white noise, a light tone and ticking whilst a fourth by the entrance played the soundtrack to the public domain film "The Last Man on Earth".

As the audience entered the space they would see a blank room, two fans on the floor causing the sheets to billow and rustle, adding to the sound. As they round the corner and enter the room a desk sat at the far end, a small TV, a reel-to-reel tape recorder and a desk lamp upon it.

The tape recorder switched on  for two minute intervals. On the tape played a church service from the mid 1980's over the top of a previously recorded (playing at a slower speed) jazz band.

Behind the desk sat two screens, on one was a man sitting waiting,checking the screens, occasionally moving. The other was playing static.

Audiences would come and go some would stay for seconds others for anything up to half an hour. Sometimes I would happen across people sitting and chilling out, drinking beer and pondering on the meaning of everything. Some people sat in the chair and stared at the screen, jumping when the barely visible man moved. Depending when people entered some were scared, some chilled, some disturbed, some calmed.

The Watchman Now

Currently "The Watchman" is being developed into a performance piece for an audience of up to 10 people to watch.

A treatment is being written and new elements of soundscape and set being created.

It is hoped that "The Watchman" will also reappear in it's original form some time soon.








The Youtube video below shows how the Watchman looked and felt...