Next Sunday 6 August from 9pm I’ll be reading live at Decagram, 119 Constitution Street, Leith. I’ll be joined by the musicians Esther Swift and Atzi, who’ll provide an improvised soundtrack. It’s a free show, and the night will conclude with a set from Esther Swift and Paul Archibald. Hope to see you there.
Poetry set to an improvised live soundtrack. Written and performed by Edinburgh-based, award-winning poet Ryan van Winkle (Saltire 2015 Poetry Book of the Year award) with devised and improvised musical accompaniment from Esther Swift (BBC Radio 2/Radio 6 Music), Atzi (BAFTA Scotland winner 2016) and special guests soon to be confirmed.
Tonight Ryan will perform four excerpts of his catalogue including brand new work not yet public, as well as works-in-progress of which this session will form part of the final development.
The event will culminate with a set from Esther Swift and drummer Paul Archibald.
As a free entry, intimate Sunday night, this is an ideal opportunity to see some of the most eminent poetry and music improvisation the city currently offers.
RYAN VAN WINKLE
Ryan is a poet, live artist, podcaster and critic living in Edinburgh.
His second collection, The Good Dark, won the Saltire Society’s 2015 Poetry Book of the Year award. His poems have appeared in New Writing Scotland, The Prairie Schooner, The American Poetry Review, AGNI and Best Scottish Poems 2015. He was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson fellowship in 2012 and a residency at The Studios of Key West in 2016.
Van Winkle has also been Poet in Residence at Edinburgh City Libraries following a successful run as the Scottish Poetry Library’s first-ever Reader in Residence.
With Highlight Arts and the Edinburgh International Book Festival he brought Pakistani and Scottish artists together for performances in Edinburgh, Lewis & Harris. He founded a new collective of Edinburgh-based artists & musicians known as Far Yella. Ryan created & hosted a ‘Poetry Bingo’. He also founded Simmer – a night of poetry & flavour with the Edinburgh Food Studio which was covered on BBC Scotland & in Fine Dining Lovers. With the musician Hailey Beavis they created two extravagant ‘Literary Happenings’ called ‘WHITE‘ & ‘BoneDigger‘ under The Golden Hour presents umbrella. He was invited to read at the Pompidou Centre as well as at Shakespeare & Company.
His critically praised first collection, Tomorrow, We Will Live Here, was published by Salt in 2010 and won the Crashaw Prize. Eyewear magazine wrote ‘Van Winkle’s poems are not static portraits of men and women framed in windows or doorways, but poems with characters that move within their environments and which, with their histories, move the reader.’ While The Glasgow Review said: ‘this collection seems to be at the forefront of a shift to something new, it is on the way to a perfection of some new movement.’
The Scotsman said of Van Winkle’s second collection, The Good Dark, the collection, ‘hits home like a punch to the sternum’ and Magma described it as ‘the ultimate break-up collection, a kind of Lonely Planet guide to Heartbreak – a land with unexpected restorative qualities.’
Ryan remains a member of The Forest and Edinburgh-based arts collective where he first met many of the artists & organizers he works with today. The Forest is home to many doers and gave birth to The Golden Hour — a sprawling monthly literary cabaret and publishing endeavour which existed between September 2006 – December 2012. In over 6 years The Golden Hour toured the UK & Europe, released more than two dozen chapbooks, an illustrated encyclopedia and two anthologies of new writing & music. They remain the best of times.
Likened to Kate Bush, Eddie Reader and Joanna Newsom, singer-songwriter and harpist Esther Swift is an up and coming musician in the Scottish folk music scene. Whilst being heavily influenced by her folk roots, Esther’s music also combines jazz, blues and minimalist references. With a passion for pushing the boundaries of folk and classical harp music she has become a prolific song writer. A deep love of Scotland, the Scottish Borders (where Esther grew up) and nature continually inspire and influence her music; the songs of her new EP ‘The Mairches’ which features cojon, string quartet and trumpet, are based on her life growing up in The Scottish Borders.
Esther’s music has been aired on BBC Radio 2 (with Jimi Goodwin), Radio 3 (Late Junction and World on 3) and Radio 6 (Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour) and she has appeared at many festivals including Edinburgh International Festival, Wales International Harp Festival, Orkney Folk Festival, Buxton Fringe Festival, Other Voices Festival and Bromyard Folk Festival. She has also made guest appearances with Cherry Ghost on their new album ‘Herd Runners’, with the Loud Poets and regularly collaborates with singer David Douglas. Esther has toured extensively across the UK and won the Deutsche Bank Award in 2013 with her duo Twelfth Day.
Esther plays as a solo harpist/singer, in three duos; Twelfth Day with Catriona Price (fiddle/vocals) Esther Swift & David Douglas, and Swift & Lindop with Jennie Lindop (Horn). She also plays with CLOUDS harp quartet with Elfair Grug Dyer, Rebecca Mills and Angelina Warburton. In all of these guises Esther writes original material which is enthralling, enchanting and beautiful. Her music is rarely written down which brings freedom and intimacy to performances. At only age 28 Esther has an impressive discography, and an exciting future ahead.
Atzi Muramatsu is a Japanese composer living in Glasgow, UK. He studied contemporary composition under Professor Nigel Osborne at the University of Edinburgh, and attained MMus Composition in 2012. Since then his works encompassed wide range of scores that have accompanied a multiplicity of arts genres, such as contemporary dance, poetry, painting, and films. Atzi is a leading member of a contemporary string quartet Lipsync for a Lullaby and a regular cellist in ambitious amateur orchestras in Scotland. His commercial commitments have begun to flourish after composing the original score for ‘The Making of Long Bird’, winner of the Best Short Animation Awards at BAFTA 2013. He continues to perform with various experimental and improvising groups across the UK, and became a member of Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra in 2015. He wrote original score for a short film ‘Monkey Love Experiments’, which won BAFTA Scotland Best Short Award as well as BAFTA 2015 nomination. In 2016 he won the Best Composer Award at the BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards for his work on a short film ‘The Violinist’. His field of work extends to sound design, audio recording/post-production with acute knowledge of the industry having worked as Events Manager at Tentracks Music Subscription Ltd., supporting widening access initiatives as Transitions 20/40 Administrator at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and coordinating innovative education programmes as SCO Connect Officer at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.