Programme: Sounds of Love, Southbank Centre, 19 July 2014
Saturday 19 July 2014, 7:45pm
An evening of sound-informed poetry films and live performances celebrating the sounds of love and the love of sounds. Conceived, curated and introduced by Zata Kitowski.
Venue: Spirit Level at Royal Festival Hall
The event is part of Poetry International and The Festival of Love.
The full programme is below.
A special PoetryFilm programme celebrating sound through a curated selection of films, poetry and live performances.
The Man With Wheels (1980, poet Billy Childish, director Eugene Doyen) 8 mins
Filmed in and around Chatham, The Man With Wheels is a poetic journey and celebration of the life of Kurt Schwitters, the artist, sound poet, Dadaist, Surrealist and scrap-paper collector. From 1977 to 1980, Billy Childish was a keen exponent of Merz culminating in the making of this film and the publication of a book of poetry. Merz is a term originated by Schwitters in 1919 and refers to his making of collages and assemblages using refuse and found materials. Schwitters described Merz as making new “art forms out of the remains of a former culture”. After reading the poetry collection, Kurt’s son Ernst said “Splendid, send my regards to Mr Childish.”
You Be Mother (1990, 16mm, director Sarah Pucill) 8 mins
You Be Mother uses stop-frame animation to disrupt the traditional orders of animate and inanimate, and of the fluid and the solid. A hallucinatory space is set up when a frozen image of the artist’s face is projected onto weighty pieces of crockery on a table. Ears, eyes, nose and mouth all become spatially dislocated as a determined hand begins to reposition, decant and mix. Events unfold to highly amplified sounds of grinding, pouring and stirring.
Letter (1996, poet and director Eduardo Kac) 1 min
Letter is a navigational poem that presents the viewer with the image of a three-dimensional spiral jetting off the centre of a two-dimensional spiral. Both spirals are made of text. The reader is able to grab and spin this verbal image in all directions. Reading becomes a process of probing the virtual object from all possible angles. The reader is also able to fly through and around the object, thus expanding reading possibilities. Letter is presented here as video documentation of an interactive reading experience.
Tim Cumming (live poetry and percussion, ambient film) 10 mins
In Tim Cumming’s poems, the sounds of love are sometimes beyond the range of hearing, but not above a distinct vibration in the gut. Tim Cumming’s live poetry performance will be set to Will Baby’s percussion and also ambient film. Brion Gysin’s Dreamachine, Pendine Sands in Wales (where Donald Campbell broke the land speed record in his car, Bluebird) and the moon and water in their various loving guises provide the visual settings for poems of romantic love, self-love, the love of music and music of love, dangerous love, and self love.
Tim Cumming’s first collection was published in 1991, and his seventh book, Etruscan Miniatures, in 2012. His poemfilms have been shown internationally, and he has worked with the trio Three Cane Whale for a music and poetry performance at Sladers Yard gallery in Dorset during an exhibition of his field paintings.
Percussionist Will Baby is one half of Baby, an improvisational duo with vibraphone player Adam Bushall.
En Marche! (poet Cristina Viti, director Gad Hollander) 12 mins
“I am master of silence.” Inspired by Rimbaud’s poetics and biography, this is a stark vision of the poet as he strides into the 21st century.
The Girl Chewing Gum (1976, 16mm, director John Smith) 12 mins
The narrator’s voiceover directs a busy street scene in Hackney.
Palindrome (2006, 8mm, director and live voiceover Malgorzata Kitowski) 3 mins
Female and Male move towards the centre of the palindrome.
Untitled Test Sequence, July 2014 (artist project Disinformation)
As an articulation of this event’s focus on the love of sounds, this sequence uses speech synthesis and psychoacoustics demonstration techniques to conceal and to reveal explorations of relationships between love and sound.
Simon Barraclough and Oli Barrett (live poetry, trumpet, synth, film) 12 mins
Poet Simon Barraclough and musician Oli Barrett showcase two songs from Simon’s forthcoming book and event, Sunspots. The songs, which are poppy and brooding by turns, are accompanied by new films from Jack Wake-Walker. All three artists have collaborated before but this is the first time that Simon and Oli have written music together, based on Simon’s poems. The two pieces they will perform are Photon and Unsunblocked. The book and show are due for release in spring 2015.
Simon Barraclough: music, words, vocals, trumpet
Oliver Barrett: music, instruments, arrangements, vocals
Jack Wake-Walker: film