voice of the poet

'the discarded voice of the poet...another post borrowed from Sroden's artform archives click here more info below


'i haven't run much in the way of sound on the blog for a while, but the discovery of this library "discard" a few weeks ago seemed ideal for such a rainy morning. a few months ago i posted a 78 of a reading of a vachel lindsay poem by norman corwin, a radio guy. today's post features a recent find of a 78 of one of lindsay's poems read by the poet himself. lindsay's reading is pretty incredible and it is interesting to compare the connects and disconnects with this and corwin's reading of lindsay's work.

lindsay's voice and performance are grittier, sounding ever more like harry partch. you can even hear him clear his throat once or twice giving one the feeling that the incantation/singing must've taken considerable effort, which brings it down to a very human level.

take a peek at that older post for a picture of lindsay because his voice and inflections so match the photo incredibly. there are many moments in this scratchy beat to hell piece of shellac that his words dissolve into simple voice rhythms that are quite beautiful, and i'd recommend listening to it very soft so it sounds more like mumbling than words; although the words themselves are quite wonderful, and from his epic poem the chinese nightingale.

since we've got an uncharacteristic rain storm going on in pasadena this morning, including some seriously ominous dark clouds, and loud pattering drops, the image of a small chinese nightingale birthed from lindsay's voice makes for quite a morning...

click here to listen'

that previous post Roden mentions is here

this is the order of the music of the morning...

vachel lindsay

norman corwin reads american poetry

'i had initially thought that the short spoken poems on this columbia 78 were spoken by the poets themselves, until i noticed norman corwin's name on both sides of the label... fortunately, this beautiful excerpt from vachel lindsay's poem 'the santa fe trail', stellarly spoken by "america's poet laureate of radio" was a more than pleasant surprise.

lindsay's word forms and corwin's diction feels like the sounds of trains, and sounds like a combination of sound poetry, hillbilly music, and even a bit like the beats. lindsay suggested that while reading the piece, one should inject 'one third of music added by instinct'. he also mentions the poem as an experiment to carry the 'vaudeville form back towards the old greek precedent of the half chanted lyric' (an idea that not only comes through in the reading here, but resonates a bit with the ideas of harry partch).

the image of lindsay comes from a blog devoted to him, which is not only interesting but much more obsessive than a wikipedia entry...

click here to listen.'

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