Soundscape – now with lyrics! Concrete poetry, spoken word, lingual music, rants, vocal techniques and everything else generally involving, but not restricted to, freedom “from the tyranny of one-direction linotype,” (Earle Birney).
1 – Greg Whitehead – ‘If A Voice Like Then What?’ – The Sound Of Radio – United States, 1985
You can find a great sampling of his material streaming on UbuWeb.
2 – Paul Bowles – ‘The Garden’ – The Voices Of Paul Bowles – United States/Morocco, 1989
Though American born and educated, Bowles felt most at home (physically and artistically) in Tangiers, where he spent most of his life. A composer, theatre producer and writer, his deft grasp of classical Arabic literary form is eminently apparent in ‘The Garden’; one of four captivating stories on this album.
3 – The Lappetites [Eliane Radigue, Kaffe Matthews, Ryoko Kuwajima, Antye Greie-Fuchs] – ‘Tzungentwist’ – Before The Libretto – England, France, Germany, Japan, 2005
This is unfortunately the only release to their name, though the (stellar) group continues to travel and perform.
4 – Lily Greenham – ‘Lichtgeschwindigkeit’ – Lingual Music – Austria / England, 1974
I have yet to find a contemporary release featuring her work (none may exist), but this compilation put out on Paradigm Discs has an extensive collection of her work from the 1964 through 1984. “The term ‘lingual music’ that she coined for her compositions refers to her technique of using tape loops of text to create complex and dense musical structures.” An effective explanation of method, but it falls short of describing the sonority of her efforts, as well as their truly experimental nature. Some tracks seem to be one-offs and conceptual demonstrations, while others (like the above) exhibit taleted composition.
More from that release:
5 – Earle Birney & Nexus – ‘Billboards Build Freedom Of Choice’ – Album III – Canada, 1982
Canadian poet and, well . . . literary shit-disturber Earle Birney in fine political fettle.
6 – Alessandro Brivio – ‘Advice’- Coaxial – Italy, 2011
More on this release and related work here.
7 – Richard Martel – ‘Capitaly’ – Italia-Canada – Canada, 1987
8 – Brandon LaBelle – ‘Writing Aloud’ – The Book Of Disquiet – United States, 1998
From the liner notes:
“Writing Aloud: this recording was produced by placing a contact microphone on the tip of a pencil and writing out the last page of “The Pleasure of the Text” [by Roland Barthes]. While writing, I also read aloud the text, therefore immersing myself into its presence–a corporeal body against the body of the text.”
9 – Iida Katsuaki, Ryu Hankil – ‘Untitled.’ – Selected Poems With Clockworks – South Korea, 2008
Ryu Hankil recently performed alongside his own installation in Vancouver at 221A as a part of Translation Services during Swarm this fall. I’ve been meaning to play some of his work ever since. So here we are. Esoteric, abrasive, sparse and fascinating. He also runs the gorgeously produced imprint Manual, on which many of his recordings appear.
The image above is reminiscent of his set-up for the aforementioned performance, minus the variety of cardboard boxes scattered throughout the space each emitting pulses and fields of varying ends and means.
10 – CoH – ‘Quadrate Fur Max-Ernst’/’Post-Pop‘ – 0397 Post-Pop – Russia, 2005
Couldn’t help myself with this one. The term ‘Post-Pop’ has itself become so integrated with my hellishly organzied sound archives as to dictate how I intellectually and conceptually approach the music itself. ‘Quadrate Fur Max-Ernst’, besides being the name of my next cat, means somewhat less.