Whoops, I almost forgot that I made a blog! Wouldn't be the first time.
Starting from way back in end-2015, this is what I've been up to.
The Out Of The Suitcase Puppet Festival in October 2015 was incredibly exciting for me - meeting puppeteers from around the country, seeing a bunch of shows, and performing with Gamelan Padhang Moncar in 'The Fall of Alengka', and presenting The Moth and The Moon to an audience of puppetry enthusiasts.
I was particularly inspired by the shadow puppet version of 'Hine Nui Te Po', which featured an ingenious home-made stage that was itself a puppet and many other clever tricks and devices. Shadow theatre seemed like the perfect medium for the Maori goddes of darkness and night to find her expression.
There is a great review of three shows, including The Fall of Alengka, here.
Next on the agenda, in December, was a gamelan performance with some stunning young dancers from Jakarta.
I jumped from a summer holiday straight in to preparing 'Sloths At Sunrise' for Kiwiburn 2015. Marika Pratley and I assembled a collection of found instruments such as bamboo rattles, metal pipes, river stones in a bowl, and pot lids, along with sloth-themed paraphernalia, fairy lights and other ephemera, to create an interactive sound installation.
Kiwiburn is a tricky thing to explain for those unfamiliar - it's essentially a participatory art festival based on the principles of Burning Man. Everyone purchases a ticket; everyone contributes something. There are no paid artists; there are no stages; there are no paid organisers or crew. What you experience there is the flowering of the creativity of a diverse crowd of people, many of whom would not consider themselves artists. Everyone brings what they want to the table and the offerings are many, unexpected, big, tiny, intimate, spectacular, amateur, professional, serious and spiritual, hilarious and irreverent.
As well as 'Sloths At Sunrise' I ended up taking part in many musical jams across the festival week, and became part of an impromptu orchestra accompanying fire dancers at the effigy burning.
Me in the hat with the flax band. As you can see, a fair few fiddlers around!