Splits, conflicts and difference within poetry are the zones in which the forward-thinking aspects of spoken word recordings continue to dwell. Sometimes, spoken word is an achievement that challenges our preconceptions of what poetry is, and what it can be.
The recording of spoken word is both a performative and transformative process, often amplified by the need to cross the familiar boundaries of one's own experiences, skills and intellectual resources; to enter nameless and sometimes alien territories where abilities that had once been considered individual now merge with those of others.
Since 2000, Going Down Swinging has recognized this through the publication of a CD of spoken word, sound poetry, music and other forms of poetic and language-based experimentation. It's recognition of those involved in the process, of the fact that there's more than one person involved, which amplifies the unexpected and sometimes chaotic diversity of the work.
The following tracks are a selection from our latest issue, #27, edited by Lisa Greenaway and myself. We don't want to critique them here (hopefully the comments section will), except to say that there are some dynamic experimental works that operate as an interesting platform for the rest of the CD. There's quality talent from around the globe that's refreshingly beautiful, with some great contrast and a healthy amount of backlash.
Like a Polaroid. Instant pleasure.
LAYDEEZ AN GENELMENN, PRESENTING GDS 27!!!
1. Light/Cold Touch of Dawn (6:10)
Rebecca Reider & Trillion
Words/vocals by Rebecca Reider & Trillion. Music composed, performed & produced by Jody Lloyd featuring Tamara Smith (flute). From the LP 'The Original Branch Manual – Catalyst 7', a project between Neosimist Press & She'll Be Right Records, Christchurch, NZ. June 2007
rebecca reider is a spoken word poet residing in Golden Bay, New Zealand. Her rhymes are crafted especially for live performance, however she is currently at work on a CD of poems accompanied by music on themes ranging from ecopolitics to the spiritual journey. For more of her work see: www.myspace.com/rebeccareider
Jody O. Lloyd (trillion) was born in Takaka, New Zealand, five days after the birth of rapper Eminem, the exact same day that James K. Baxter died, the same week that Split Enz formed. Thus far in his 18-year music and poetry career Lloyd has changed the soundscape of NZ music by writing, producing and releasing over fifteen albums of music and poetry (for himself and others). He founded She'll Be Right Records and hip-hop outfit Dark Tower. Recently he released his life's best work: the LP SILENTinvisible. Lloyd currently lives in Australia and continues to produce music. www.trillion.co.nz
2. The Feeble Urger (Carn!) (0:49)
Written, composed & performed by Peter Murphy. Engineered & produced by Peter Murphy, Melbourne, AUS. April 2008
Peter Murphy writes poetry, short stories, plays, takes photographs and performs sound poems. His poetry books include Glass Doors, Lies and Snapshots and my short story books include Black Light and The Moving Shadow Problem.
3. The Wishing Machine (3:09)
Found poem by Philip Davenport. Performed by Pam Leeson. Sound treatment/production by Gareth Bibby. From the LP 'Constellation of Luminous Details', the product of a residency at THE TEXT Festival, Bury Museum + Art Gallery in the UK. Released through www.lotta-continua.co.uk MAN, UK.
Phillip Davenport is one of a new wave of British experimental poets that acknowledge contemporary art practice as much as poetics. His work has been praised ('Daring and elegiac.' The Scotsman) and dismissed ('These aren't even poems.' City Life). The poems are made from found text: journalism, porn, txt messages, overheard voices: the daily, unnoticed backdrop of us. His poems appear in art galleries, recordings, posters, publications, performances, streets and shop windows.
4. The Day Everybody Told The Truth (8.49)
Written & performed by David Thrussell. Created for a GDS performance commission. Recorded in A Dank Hessian Sack. Produced by Forces Unknown. Published by Mushroom Music, 2008. www.myspace.com/snogtheband
David Thrussell is a poet trapped in the body of a hillbilly. Or, a hopeless romantic hidden in the twisted frame of a dark electronic musician. The world knows him (if it knows him at all), as the creator of a multitude of obscure recordings (Snog, Black Lung and Soma, etc.) and film scores (The Hard Word, Thunderstruck, etc.). It may or may not soon know him as an author of unhinged children's tales. Thrussell has scored five major feature films, garnering IF, ARIA and AGSC awards and nominations, and has commenced work on a sixth score (Red Dress) to see release late 2009. He is also the proprietor of The Omni Recording Corporation.
5. My First Hurricane (0.51)
Written & performed by Larissa Shmailo. Music composed, performed & produced by Bobby Perfect for SongCrew Records, New York, USA 2008 www.myspace.com/larissashmailoexorcism.
Larissa Shmailo has been published in Barrow Street, Fulcrum, Rattapallax, Big Bridge, Drunken Boat and Naropa's We among many others. She translated A. Kruchenych's Russian Futurist opera Victory over the Sun; a DVD of the English-language production is collected at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
6. Like A Virgin (4:36)
Chloe Jackson Willmott
Written & performed by Chloe Jackson Willmott. Music composed & performed by Quinn Stacpoole. Produced by Quinn Stacpoole. Created for the Liner Notes Series, Melbourne, AUS. Aug 2008
Chloe Jackson Willmott started her writing career young and was published in Voiceworks at the age of 15. Since then she has performed at Babble 2002-2007, Liner Notes 2008, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2008, Melbourne Writers Festival 2005, Overload Poetry Festival 2006 and 2008. She has been published in local zine Mod Piece, as well as digital publications You have been chosen (CD, 2005) and now Going Down Swinging # 27 (CD, 2008). Her work has also been played on RRR's Aural Text program. She lives in Melbourne.
Going Down Swinging #27, edited by Lisa Greenaway and Klare Lanson, is in stores now!