Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek


Today I did a reading for Keith Stevenson's podcast, Terra Incognita SF.

I read my novella, 'Under the Red Sun', which may or may have not been a wise choice, given that the recording said it went for an hour once I had finished. That might not be right, incidentally--there's probably about forty minutes of stumbles that Keith will take out, rendering it a lean, easy going five minutes, with thirty minutes of commercials. Or something like that. Either way, it was interesting to do: I don't read my work often, mostly because I'm hardly ever asked to do so--venues for readings a pretty scarce round here--and I tend to think that my work looks better on a page than it does written aloud.

In fact, I'm a big believer that writing for the page is not the same as writing to be read. I came to that conclusion years back, when I had a student who was also a performance artist. She would submit CDs of her work, which were always really neat, and the highlight of every assignment period. But when you saw the work on the page there was no elegance, no style, nothing but big slabs of text that made you want to go and cry in a corner. What surprised me was how little I would have guessed that by hearing her perform. She was, really, impressive: subtle and stylish and powerful and raw when needed. But it was also true that I could barely make it through the page of her written scripts. It was around then that I started to pay attention to the differences, to how we read with our eyes, and what they will register subconsciously, and how your ears will take something in. There is, I think, a rather large difference, and I'm not sure how 'Under the Red Sun' will sound to the listener, but I hope it isn't the reverse of what I just described.

Still, it was fun, and waking up to big packages of recording material sent by Keith was also pretty funny. I honestly didn't expect to get a whole stand and microphone sent to me when I agreed to do the recording. I thought I'd get a headset, and sound fuzzy and lost, a figure trapped in early technology, wearing stylish suits, smoking cigarettes, and telling you the world was ending.


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