wrote down all poems in the most primitive way - on a digital dictophone, and
then have slightly finished in program Adobe Audition.
The strongest influence on my creativity was rendered by Russian futurism and German Dada, and as world sound poetry more others - Kurt Scwitters, Alexey Kruchenyh, Henri Chopin, Valeri Scherstjanoi, Sergey Biryukov, Bob Cobbing, Maurice Lemaitre, Jaap Blonk, Gerhard Ruhm, Amanda Stewart and group Fluxus creativity. But as it is strong on me creativity English-French rock group "Gong" and experimental electronic music has affected.”
Time Out (5:41)
“These two pieces show the different approaches I take with sound poetry- unaltered vocals and digitally altered text-sound compositions. “For Cy Twombly” was altered recorded on a handheld digital recorder and distorted via Audacity. Sometimes I use actual words in my sound poems but these are examples of my more asemic poems. Writing in sound affords a freedom that cannot be found any other way.”
“‘Mozote’ was inspired by two poems that I wrote about a massacre in El Salvador at the village of El Mozote in 1981 that the United States government was instrumental in funding and then denied. (The poems take images and fragmented narrative of the people, namely Rufina Amaya, whose stories were witnessed through the book The Massacre at El Mozote by Mark Danner. I'll include the poems (sonnets) that I wrote, here.
My process of making sound poems often involves me trying to "translate" text into some kind of sound/music inspired piece--one that still has its roots in text.
’O Gong of Wept’ was inspired by a challenge (from the poet Christine Hume) to make a sound poem out of lyrics by a poet that I loved. Joseph Ceravolo is one of my favorite poets, and in his book Fits of Dawn (book
O gong of wept
furious cozy the rain
O dam of soul
to chase look! am poor.
O cheat of beg o cat
gist o am Walk
elysium tool a sun day Broke
revel lasso to
Yes, wolf of songs, O muse
O mixed Enemy! Invent
of dwell So voyage So end mercy
earth Usurp violets
O visible gym of flowered”
Ed. note: The excerpt from Joe Ceravolo's Fits of Dawn is copyright © 1965 by Joe Ceravolo and not subject to this site's Creative Commons license.
“Jig-Arteroids is an interactive sound poetry
piece. You sequence and layer short vocal sounds. And can also play the sounds
with your keyboard. Each of the thirty-four sounds is visually represented by a
sound icon with a letter or number on it. When you click a sound icon, a sound
plays; when you press a key on the keyboard, the same sound plays as when you
click the icon with that same symbol on it. You link sound icons together with
blue or green lines. Blue lines cause the icons to play sequentially. Green
lines cause the icons to play simultaneously. There are two videos that show you
how to play with the interactive piece. The vocal sounds are based on sounds
from a different interactive piece I made a few years ago called Arteroids,
which is an online shoot-em-up poetry game. Jig-Arteroids attempts a
synthesis of sound poetry, music, play/game, and software art.”
Ed. Note: To the left are the links for Jig-Arteroids. The top link directs you to the general home page, and the second link is to an essay which gives a broad overview of Jig-Arteroids’ technical features, its development process, and its poetics. The “Executables” link is for those who want to run Jig-Arteroids via a Web browser or download Jig-Arteroids to run on their Mac or PC. The final link is to a sound file created by Andrews using Jig-Arteroids.
With Jig-Arteroids you notice the plasticity of digital sound in a way more immediate than a lot of sound editing software. This is because rather than inundating the user with effects-- in many ways the sonic analog to the role that “font” plays in print-- Jig-Arteroids focuses attention on simultaneity and sequence. The particular spatial conception of simultaneity and sequence it proposes, though limited in a manner so as to make it user-friendly, should prove fertile not just to sound poets but to poets in general (since so often for us sequence is determined by lines on a page or the current of speech). The possibilities for the technology of Jig-Arteriods with a wider palette of sound (say a “heap” composed of the International Phonetic Alphabet) input are exciting. And most importantly, Jig-Arteroids is a lot of fun.
Please note that the content of each of the linked pages is not subject to this site’s Creative Commons license.
“‘Jenifer's Words’ combines interests from several different parts of me. As a sound poet, I've been fascinated by the unique timbres and qualities of individual voices. As an educator, I'm interested in how children develop literacy. When one of my students gave me several pages of words she had written. I thought she had been copying words, but found that the words had no particular semantic or alphabetic order. When I asked her how she had come up with the words, she just shrugged her shoulders and, when I asked ‘why’ she said ‘because I like writing words.’ Lists of words are common in both education and experimental writing; albeit for different purposes and agendas. In education word lists are often compiled by educational research and statistics: ‘The first 100 words,’ ‘Sight words’ or ‘High Frequency Words’ and publishers create decodable books for children where content and narrative are subordinated to "controlled vocabulary." In contrast, Jenifer's word lists come from her imagination and curiosity, and represent a much more magical and organic relationship to language.
When I invited students to read
‘Jenifer's Words’ I was curious how they would respond and interpret them. On
the one hand, children respond readily to nonsense and word play: Mother Goose
rhymes, Dr. Seuss, etc. But they
are also developmentally striving to make sense and clarify the world for
themselves. As emerging readers, their task is to take a seemingly random
collection of symbols and sounds and turn them into meaning. The idea of going
to the effort of decoding and comprehending without the payback of meaning might
seem ridiculous to a child. (Which
is a good argument against teaching students how to read with word lists and
phonetically controlled text).
Some of the readings of the words reflect boredom, some reflect the challenge of decoding itself, and others reflect an active engagement with the text, and a struggle to create meaning through intonation, and expression. All of the recordings, however, revealed a unique interpretation. My editing and processing of the pieces reflects my interpretation or response to each of the pieces. I was careful not to alter, step on, or subvert the natural beauty of the children's voices. Instead I tried to accentuate or play off their inherent qualities.”
Phonocomposition (Featuring Sergey Letov) (0:47)
“below are two sets of notes, written at different times, relating to ‘embedded’
notes 1 – written a few months after the piece was debuted
[these were sort of jottings to myself, for my own records]
this poem was written over 4 weeks in late Feb. and the first half of March, 2005;
written for Music
Harm (i.e. the show put on by the
Atlanta Poets Group on
(it started with extensive notes & lexilists, then moved on to writing the 3 very different verbal parts, while gradually working out in my head what the music would sound like; and finally I set up the synthesizer & realized the musical part in detail. at which point it was getting close to the date of the show; I spent most of those last two days working on the synthesizer part!)
the three verbal parts of the score are each a stand-alone text and they are performed as independent entities, but the way i wrote them and the use of repetition and shared elements between them, unifies the piece
the synthesizer part is played by me, and consists of three sections (which have grown more complex the more i work on them):
--the fifties sci-fi B-movie theme
--the Psycho (as in Perkins with a knife) theme
--the demented circus music
at Music Harm the performers were
voice 1 John Lowther
voice 2 Tracey Gagné
voice 3 Zzac
Roland Juno-60 synthesizer me
notes 2 – written for aslongasittakes: reflections on embedded, April 2009
The concept of a rogue nation is
tricky; or it’s a tricky bit of
rhetorical slight-of-hand. Of
course if there is such a nation,
it is surely the
Textphase: Moment x Moment (8:31)*
"Chad Lietz lives & works in
"Chad Lietz lives & works in
performed by Philip Meersman, txt: Philip Meersman, produced by DAstrugistenDA
and de Beursschouwburg (
te was created during Bar None at the BRXLBravo-festival 2007 where
DAstrugistenDA did a 48h non-stop poetry performance behind bars in orange
overalls. DAstrugistenDA wanted to attract the attention to issues
Summary: performed by DAstrugistenDA, txt: Philip Meersman, produced by DAstrugistenDA and de Beursschouwburg (
Chris Stroffolino: “it's about mishearing and/or trying to avoid meaning through gesture, and dialogue and/or misunderstanding and low-fi one track recordings.... Ah, the voice, etc...”
James Sanders: “oh see, i was looking at it like its pretending about mishearing/trying to avoid meaning and that's what the gesture was (and the irony)-- like it was framed very much by the melodramatic music-- i suppose i took it as a ironization of signifier/signified play that goes on in a lot of lit (not to mention sound po)”
CS: “what's the difference between an early morning prayer and a warming-up ritual? Like stretching at the Y(mca)---the Y shape of stretching (wca)...
Listening to the word so carefully....is all conceptual art based on the double-meaning?
the double-feeling double-dealing or dealt out dirty, dirt cheap.
But I still think people use the word "irony" as a buzz-word for any form of detachment (or visionary distancing, planning, numbling or laughing, if not short hand for a scream...
Irony, by definition, can't make the first move? But, then, isn't it always what it'd be in relation to--?
What's an example of an ironic intention in a moral-quarium?
Oh, poor, irony!”
agree that irony is an overused word-- but really don't you find your piece
ironic? i mean in the context of sound poetry where the utterance is so often
iconic, your piece has one ‘character’ with a very tom waits voice accusing the
other one of being a phoneme (and that other one asking whether the first thinks
he is a phony), and in reality both are phonemes and not characters (as the
piece reveals when it breaks down) and its not that irony can't make the first
move but that its always a double move
ps is the dickinson in your piece this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_cowbell?”
CS: “In the context of sound poetry, can an intention be iconic? For me, the feeling of the icon comes later (for better and/or worse.) Maybe that's why some ‘sound poem’ folks might disregard it? As a ‘cheap joke?’ And/or ‘too sloppy’ (this criticism I will agree with; I'd like to do this with a real producer...)
I am very happy that you speak of it in terms of ‘characters’ as well as ‘phonemes.’ I'd still wanna entertain the possibility, that it is only from the notion of a spurious iconic singularity (authenticity?) that a polyvocal dialogic heteroglossic psychomachia difference would be dubbed ‘ironic’—How old was Dickinson, anyway, when he decided there was a thick wall between earnestness and jest. Is there cowbell in the original ‘All Along The Watchtower?’”
JS: “well im
not sure its only from the notion of a spurious iconic singularity that a
polyvocal dialogic heteroglossic psychomachia difference is ironic-- it's more
than that-- you’re piece clearly plays with audience and relies on an
incongruity (what the tom waits guy is saying and meaning) (and isn’t that
you're askin the wrong guy about watchtower-- i hear cowbell in everything”
Wasser gedicht (pdf)
"this noise poem sounds better if its played very loud"