Transported Across Oceans – David Mitchell and Tiny Ruins: WORD Christchurch 2022

If I Were a Story and You Were a Song. Beautiful and moving.

David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas, Utopia Avenue) and Hollie Fullbrook, singer/songwriter for Tiny Ruins transported a packed Philip Carter Auditorium at the aptly named Piano venue last night.

The beauty and poignancy of the material was on both sides as the two sparked off each other to perform a chapter, a song - in response to each other's work.

David wrote four chapters of what was hinted to be a new novella, chronicling the life of a woman. The stories were like memories or dreams, visually described, with a hint of the otherworldliness his books are known for.

David tied this together with a gorgeous theme of cherry blossoms, magnolia and daffodils an echo of Hollie's lyrics, in particular, Me at the Museum, you at the Wintergarden. I loved the timing of this eventual, postponed event, happening finally as Christchurch blossoms into an impossibly breathtaking spring.

Hollie and David began this project to share with WORD Festival 2021, but the event was put on hold, giving them another year to collaborate from two sides of the world.

Mitchell's story was heartfelt and included elements of his experience with autism, both in his personal life and through translating the work of a Japanese author Naoki Higoshida.

The Reason I Jump

Hollie Fullbrook has a rich, liquid voice. It's like listening to the rise and fall of an oboe. Her lyrics often bring the delights of nature, her guitar confident and more than enough to accompany the lilt of feeling she puts into her music.

Brightly Painted One

I loved the theme of the priest and the balloons, floating off into the blue: 

Hollie: I want to live where the traffic controllers are ballet dancers

...waiting with the sky goodbye

what was he looking for, was it truth, or was it heaven?

David: The crocodile of children each give the priest a balloon 

until he has thirty

the priest stands on the bench and begins his ascension

what was he looking for? was it truth or was it heaven?

I was truly moved, as the story and the music took hold of me; the woman in the story now old, remembering the kiss, so transcendent and unsurpassed that it was a memory the moment it happened.

How we rose merrily forward

How we rose merrily down

Transported. Thank you both.
The wonderful Rachael King (Red Rocks, Magpie Hall) chaired the event, for WORD.

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