an unlikely method
FLASHPOINT is a group of five writers, a jazz composer/upright bassist, and an ever-shifting cast of guest and visiting artists. We perform all new works - everything under three minutes, unfolding within a responsive sonic landscape. Part improvisation, part call-and-response, FLASHPOINT is a performance ensemble that invites audiences into the experience of words, music, and an entirely new form of live storytelling.
We are inspired by the unexpected collisions and kismet between artists in our most uncivilized incarnations - when we're snuffling around amidst marked-up manuscript pages. When we're hungry for more of a madcap magic we can't quite explain. When we're staring into the volatile hearts of new works that shiver in a state of raw mystery and flux. When we ourselves are unfinished - our tectonic plates still shifting, and the absolute has not yet coalesced from the possible. It's a little like those moments before a thunderstorm.
FLASHPOINT gathers an almost incompatible group of writers - traditional and experimental, poets and nonfiction writers - yet each with muscular voices, strong personalities, and a curious urge to listen and respond across boundaries of discipline, genre, style, and voice.
In our practice sessions, each artist brings a stack of about 15 utterly-new, completely original short texts, and short jazz music compositions. Everything under 400 words. nippets. Fragments. Yet compelling narrative flashes. To the point. Flashpoint. That focal point at which explosions emerge.
We go around the space and read and read and read - we listen, and respond - each selecting a responsive text from the stack. Answering the artist who has read before. Provoking the artists who are yet to read. Patterns emerge. We find pieces with monsters. With sex, and cities. Deserts, wars, deaths. Then circuses, geraniums. Brothers. Coffeegrinders. The way the air smells after rain.
It is that spirit of community, improvisation, and brevity that brings FLASHPOINT to the stage: the curiosity to see what happens when narrative arcs meet and become narrative intersections.