I've just got back from a week in Switzerland at Roundsquare's International conference. Oh my goodness, I don't think I've been to such an inspiring event!
There were students from all over the world who'd come together in the Swiss Alps to discuss their shared values and how they can learn from/help others in our international community. I found it really moving - and it was really cool that my wife, Lucy, was able to come away with me for once.
I'd been invited to the conference to give an hour-long lecture on creativity, teaching and rap battles to the students. I was also asked to write a poem for the conference's closing ceremony. I was pretty nervous about the commission (as I always am) but I couldn't believe how well the piece came out - it was a half decent poem in the end! Also, (and this rarely happens when I write commission pieces) I think I've got something that would work really well at other gigs - which is ace. Although I'm finding my newest work all uses visual projections over the top of the poem - and this piece is no different. the poem I wrote actually projects questions from the students behind me while tI perform, so it's almost like you're following two competing poems at times. I really like the effect and playing with the two different voices it generates (both my voice and the voice that reads the text in your head). It's definitely something I want to keep experimenting with.
The conference itself was incredible. It's the second time that I've worked with Aiglon College (this year's hosts) and I love how ambitious they are. They get things done over there. We had talks from astronauts, philathropists and even Jackie Stewart; a unique (and ear-worm inducing) song about the journey that makes us who we are, an edge-of-your-seat ice hockey match, a day-long hiking expedition and (my personal favourite) a cabaret night where students from all over the world took it in turns to perform in front of the rest of the delegates.
Aside from that, highlights included a bunch of great nights out (and in) with teachers at Aiglon College. I felt very proud to be working with such passionate and creative people - and both Lucy and I left in awe of their organisational skills too! I'd really like to offer a huge thank you to Claire, Chris, Martin, Sarah and Tom for making us feel so welcome - and to John and Peter for inviting me in the first place! If you fancy seeing a bit more of what we got up to, why not click the pic below?