lyrikline blog

Poetry and Performance (7) – World Poetry Day

Posted in Anat Pick, Jaap Blonk, Kurt Schwitters by lyrikline on 21. March 2016

poetry and p klien

 

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Welttag der Poesie!

An alle Dichter und Denkerinnen, Liebhaber, Selberschreiber und alle, die ohne Poesie nicht aus dem Haus gehen wollen. Mit dem Ende einer  Woche voll Poesie und Performance kehren wir zum gemeinsamen Urgrund zurück und feiern mit drei bahnbrechenden Poesie-Performances  das Aufkommen und die Vielfalt poetischer Performancekonzepte, ihre Weiterentwicklung, ihre internationale Sprengkraft und ihr DADA-Potenzial. Hier sind Ausschnitte aus Kurt Schwitters Ursonate gelesen vom Autor, Jaap Blonks Performance Ursonography der Schwitterschen Ursonate und Anat Picks Part 1 der tongueTrum (N’ur so nata).

 

World Poetry Day Congratulations!

To all poets, performers and poetry lovers! This is our final posting in a week full of poetry and performance recalling the very basis of all performative poetry: With Kurt Schwitters´ Ursonate (primordial sonata or sonata in primordial sounds), Jaap Blonk and Golan Levin performing Ursonography and Anat Picks Part 1 tongueTrum (N’ur so nata) we want to celebrate poetic performances and their further development, their international impact and their dada potential.

 

 

Listen to the whole piece performed by his son Ernst Schwitters at/ die gesamte Sonate gesprochen von seinem Sohn Ernst Schwitters auf:  Kurt Schwitters Ursonate UBU

Noch mehr Versionen von Jaap Blonk auf/ more versions at Jaap Blonk Ursonate UBU

Pick - 20100610-2215449

Anat Pick foto: gezett

 

tongueTrum (N’ur so nata) Pt. I by/von Anat Pick (Textvorlage/script at/auf lyrikline)

 

Auf ein neues Jahr voller Stimmen, Laute und Gedichte, die man hören muss!

To another wonderful year of sounds, voices and poems that want to be heard!

Anat Pick and

Jaap Blonk at lyrikline

 

Poetry and Performance (6) – Sound out loud!

Posted in Eirikur Örn Norddahl, Jaap Blonk, Pierre Guéry by lyrikline on 20. March 2016

poetry and p klien

Performativity is a central characteristic of sound poetry: Poetry and sound become one. Written notices are only of supportive function and help to realize the poems as sounds. Voice and body of the performers are part of the event that can be a bodily experience for both performers and audience. Sound poets are known for their extreme dedication. They scream and whisper fighting or praising the word and its acclaimed meaning.

[a playlist for World Poetry Day 2016] sound poetry

We asked sound poetry-performers Pierre Guéry, Jaap Blonk and Eirikur Örn Norddahl about their personal artistic view on performance and their experiences with it. And once more we find out, that the term performance has a wide range that differs a lot in both its theoretical understanding and its – performance!

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Bei Lautpoesie steht die Performativität der Gedichte unangefochten im Mittelpunkt: Laut und Gedicht sind eins, schriftliche Notizen dienen meist nur als behelfsmäßige Gedächtnisstützen und stehen als solche hinter der Realisierung des Gedichts im Laut zurück. Stimme und Körper der Performenden sind unmittelbar mit dem Ereignis verknüpft, das auch für das Publikum zu einer körperlichen Erfahrung werden kann. Lautpoetinnen und -poeten sind für ihre außerordentliche Präsenz, ihre Lust am Experimentieren und ihre unübertroffenen Hingabe auf der Bühne bekannt.

[a playlist for World Poetry Day 2016] sound poetry

Pierre Guéry, Jaap Blonk und Eirikur Örn Norddahl beantworten für lyrikline Fragen zu ihrem Verständnis von Performance und berichten aus ihrem Erfahrungsschatz. Die englischen Interviews werden durch Videos ergänzt, die Guéry und Norddahl in Aktion zeigen. Und Blonk? Den zeigen wir am Welttag der Poesie.

 

dreimalsound

Blonk (foto: gezett), Norddahl and Guéry

What is a performance – what is not performative?

Pierre Guéry: Concerning poetry, a performance is not a simple reading. Above all it is the whole poet’s body into space creating an energetic contact with the audience. With a text of course, but with a type of text that can involve the entire being of the poet: what he means with words, for sure, but also what his body suggests, what his voice impacts. For a performance the poet cannot remain into distance with his creation – whether he’s alone or with other artists on stage. Basically, he’s got to recall the specific pulse that was inside him while writing and give it back to the audience in its nudity. He’s got to have a strong will for transmitting and sharing this pulse sincerely, not being afraid by his fragility or violence. The audience knows very well whether this happens or not, and there is no possible cheating.

What is not performative: a simple reading with a great musician or a nice video! This is not enough to call it performance, though it is very current. Poetry performance (especially what is called sound poetry), as well, is not just yelling words like a mad person! A poetic performance is not just melting different arts to give the poem a beautiful suit.

 

Jaap Blonk: For myself it is 100% clear if I am performing or not. It’s a matter of turning a switch from 0 to 1 and back.

In the case of most poets I have seen on stage, supposedly performing, it wasn’t so clear if they were actually doing a performance or not.

Eirikur Örn Norddahl: My idea of performance is very much connected to the idea of “live” – a recording of a performance is closer to being text, which is then only performative at the moment of writing.

How important is loudness to your work?

Pierre Guéry: Loudness is just a help and can be fun. I use it quite often and create some effects that amplify what my voice wants to give. It is only a tool in my work and I never base on it because I want to keep a certain nudity. I do not want to count on technology to find something that I don’t possess myself.

Jaap Blonk: I assume by loudness you mean volume (dynamics in musical terms). This is of eminent importance for my work. I give it the utmost care in all gradations.

Eirikur Örn Norddahl: There needs to be a framed spectrum – the spectrum doesn’t have be great, but there needs to be an upper and lower border within which the artwork functions, for there to also be a breaking point, a point where the border is pierced and/or crumbles. It can never be so loud that you cannot – through effort – still make it a little bit louder if needed. I have also often thought of the connection between loudness and power as being interesting, not only because we often see the correlation – whether it be shouting police dogs or bombs – but because loudness is also a mask for the powerless, just as silence is a mask for the powerful.

 

What must the audience provide?

Pierre Guéry: There is no « must »! The audience provides or not, and it provides what it provides if the poet himself provides something strong – otherwise no feedback!

Jaap Blonk: There’s nothing the audience ‘must’ provide. However, I very much appreciate it if their interest goes deeper than just attending a performance, and also stretches toward the permanent objects of art, such as books and recordings. 

Eirikur Örn Norddahl: Presence. Humanity.

 

What was the greatest thing that happened to you onstage?

Pierre Guéry: So many great things happen all the time! The greatest thing is probably, most often, what is unexpectable – when the feedback is a total surprise (and consequently gives an unknown and new meaning to the piece that is performed).

Also when work involves another artist and when both poet and artist touch a state of grace by « making love to eachother » onstage – I mean find their own soul in the other one’s soul.

Jaap Blonk: Crossing what I had so far considered ‘the border of madness’, and finding out that the audience was not embarrassed at all, but touched by a genuine artistic utterance.

Eirikur Örn Norddahl: I don’t know if it can be considered great, but I once for a moment thought I had killed the great Jacques Roubaud with my poetry. He was sitting at the front at a show at the Days of poetry and wine in Ptuj, Slovenia, on a shaky stump of wood. When I started my show – which consisted of all sorts of weird noises and conceptually and politically motivated wisecracks – he started laughing. And he just kept laughing. When I broke into a ten minute shoutfest consisting of 17th century Icelandic zaum-nonsense he laughed so hard that he fell of his tree stump, stumbling on to the sidewalk. He was 80 at the time and half the festival panicked and got up to see if he was OK, and I still had eight minutes left of my shoutfest, looking out the corner of my eye feeling very insecure as to whether or not I had accidentally murdered one of my idols and whether or not that meant I should stop. (He was fine; and I didn’t stop).

I once had a whole platoon of finnish teen girls and horse enthusiasts chant along with one of my poems with great energy, I have had children go mad with joy, running around glowing – but I’ve also had people boo me, throw stuff at me, I have had people cry, shout, and one person even had an epileptic fit when I was on stage. And then I hadn’t even started reading yet.

 

Jaap Blonk,

Eirikur Örn Norddahl

and Pierre Guéry on lyrikline

 

Poetry and Performance (5) – Voices in action

Posted in Maud Vanhauwaert, Sharrif Simmons, TJ Dema by lyrikline on 19. March 2016

poetry and p klien

Spoken Word, Rap, and Slam Poetry: Those could be first things that come to mind when we think about poetry and performance. Voices, words and poems are loud and powerful when they fight for justice and against repression. But the words always also stand and fight for themselves, for the space they need, their language and the connections they achieve. In TV-Shows and concert halls performers like Ursula Rucker, Saul Williams, L-ness and others give rise to the power with which a poem constitutes and forms a reality.

[a playlist for World Poetry Day 2016] spoken word performer

The selected videos demonstrate how the established surroundings of poems and their categories can be challenged to find new ways of reaching an audience. TJ Dema postulates a word in action, Sharrif Simmons meets other artists in the streets of a foreign country, Maud Vanhauwaert performs her poem in a quotidian surrounding.

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Spoken Word, Rap, Slam Poetry: So könnte eine spontane Assoziationskette aussehen, die an Poesie und Performance anknüpft. Hier treten, Stimme, Wort und Gedicht unüberhörbar in Aktion. Oft tritt das Wort für eine gerechtere Gesellschaft ein und gegen Repression. Dabei steht und kämpft es immer auch für sich und für den Raum, den es greift, für die Sprache, die es spricht, die Verbindung, die es schafft. Performerinnen wie Ursula Rucker, Saul Williams, L-ness und andere setzen auf die realitätserzeugende Wirkung der Wörter und demonstrieren in vollen Konzertsälen, in Fernsehshows und auf Wettbewerben die Kraft ihrer Stimmen.

[a playlist for World Poetry Day 2016] spoken word performer

Die ausgewählten Videos zeigen, wie über die bereits etablierten Gedicht-Schauplätze und Kategorien hinaus auf ein Publikum zugegangen werden muss, um einer  Zuhörerschaft neu zu begegnen. TJ Dema formuliert die Forderung nach dem Wort in Aktion, Sharrif Simmons testet seine Wirkung in einem fremden Land, Maud Vanhauwaert bringt ihr Gedicht in alltäglichen Situationen zum Einsatz.

 

TJ Dema

 

Sharrif Simmons

 

Maud Vanhauwaert

 

TJ Dema,

Sharrif Simmons and

Maud Vanhauwaert on lyrikline

 

Poetry and performance (4) – Presenting a poem in different ways

Posted in Gerhard Falkner by lyrikline on 18. March 2016

poetry and p klien

 

A poem is a poem – what else could it be? The German poet Gerhard Falkner is eager to try out new ways of presenting his work. Collaborations with other artists, filmmakers, graphic and sound designers are the results of his curiosity towards new shapes and dimensions of poetry.

[a playlist for World Poetry Day 2016] music performances

Mi 17.10. 20:00 Mein Vorbild – Tom Schulz trifft Gerhard Falkner Tom Schulz im Gespräch mit Gerhard Falkner Foto: gezett.de

Gerhard Falkner Foto: gezett

In an interview with lyrikline he describes the two steps of his artistic process. During the creation of a poem the dimension of sound is already included: “Denken ist hören” – “thinking is listening” and cannot be separated from writing or reading. But the access to poetry differs: Reading and listening are two possibilities with different advantages. The second step of the process comes after the production when the “original” poem is already concluded. In collaborations Falkner describes himself as a tree that is being put in scene by a fence or a poster: It is still the tree but it is being looked at differently. His openness towards working together with other artists anticipates the recognition of different energies. Text, sound and action must profit from the coincident presentation. The first performance of Das Wort by Gerhard Falkner and Sound Designer Johannes Malfatti at the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin demonstrates the synergy of improvisation and montage of text and sound.

Gerhard Falkner at lyrikline

 

Poesie und Performance (4) – Viele Arten ein Gedicht zum Sprechen zu bringen

Posted in Gerhard Falkner by lyrikline on 18. March 2016

poetry and p klien

Ist das Gedicht immer schon Performance? Oder ist es erst einmal nur der Ausgangspunkt, der einzeln für sich steht und gleichzeitig die Auseinandersetzung und Weiterentwicklung durch andere Künstlerinnen sucht? Gerhard Falkner ist in der Dichterszene für seine Experimentierfreudigkeit bekannt. Für ein Interview mit lyrikline gibt er Einblicke vom Entstehungsprozess seiner Gedichte bis zur Aufführung mit anderen Künstlern.

[a playlist for World Poetry Day 2016] music performances

 

Eine Audioaufnahme der Live-Performance Das Wort in der Literaturwerkstatt Berlin demonstriert die Synergien, die der Zusammenarbeit von Gerhard Falkner und Johannes Malfatti entspringen.

 

Gerhard Falkner auf lyrikline

 

Poetry and Performance (2) – Reading and Recording

Posted in Carolin Callies by lyrikline on 16. March 2016

poetry and p klien

 

Poets that read their own poetry seem rather normal to us – but what exactly is happening in the moment of such a presentation? When we asked German poets Carolin Callies about her experiences the answer was quite surprising: Whenever she finishes a poem it develops a certain independence and distance to its own creator. Accessing the poem in a state of completion becomes a theatric act that can also include a different set of voices or attitudes.

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Carolin Callies Foto: Timo Volz

 

>>>  [a playlist for World Poetry Day 2016] studio highlights

 

On the other hand listening to a poet often develops closeness between the performer and the audience. Besides the individual differences in tone and voice the phonetic and rhythmic aspects of poetry suddenly appear. Rhymes, assonances and alliterations unfold their effects, verses and structures become audible compositions. Recordings can tell us about all kinds of aspects: How does the poet approach her reading? What atmosphere and intensity does she create? Where does she place the breaks, which lines are being stressed? Does she follow the original text or is she being drawn into the process?

lyrikline allows us to share this moment with hundreds of poets and listen to our favorite poems again and again.

But what does it mean when an author reads her own poems? And what about the relations between poem, author and audience? The following sketches two positions demonstrating the differences of an understanding of poetry.

A common point of view can be summarized by the following statements:

>> The written poem is a completed art work and therefore is unchangeable.
>>Every presentation of the poet is an interpretation that refers to its original.
>>The author holds a special intention that she can work out with the means of her presentation.
>>The meaning of poem can be understood best, when the author presents it, because she will interpret it correctly.

A performative approach however considers the process of the presentation already as an own artistic event.

>>A poem is not a written text but its performance. Its realization happens in the process of writing and reading.
>>The reading itself with all its coincidences and transformations is to be taken seriously. Time and space are part of the aesthetical experience.
>>This means that the signification of a poem is not firm but depends on the context. Enactments replace interpretations. The reference to an original is not necessary. An enactment imposes its own standards.
>>It is not required that the audience tries to understand the intention of the author. Its own aesthetical experience is basis of their own involvement.

Whether it is the listening to a live reading or to a recorded playlist on lyrikline: The voice of the author makes a difference. But how we perceive the result depends on our understanding of poetry that apart from the given examples can be individually cultivated.

 

Carolin Callies on lyrikline

 

 

Poesie und Performance (2) – Lesungen und O-Töne

Posted in Carolin Callies, Uncategorized by lyrikline on 16. March 2016

poetry and p klien

Dass Autorinnen ihre Gedichte vorlesen erscheint uns als Selbstverständlichkeit – doch was passiert eigentlich in dem Moment in dem eine Dichterin ihre eigenen Texte einem Publikum vorliest? Wir begleiten Carolin Callies bei der Lesung ihrer Gedichte im Tonstudio der lyrikline und auf der Bühne der Literaturwerkstatt Berlin.

>>>  [a playlist for World Poetry Day 2016] studio highlights

 

Im Vortrag bekommt der Zuhörer jenseits der individuellen Stimm- und Klangfarbe der Dichterin noch sehr viel mehr zu hören. Hier werden die klanglichen Aspekte eines Gedichtes transportiert, seine lautlichen Bezüge und rhythmischen Strukturen. Reime, Assonanzen und Alliterationen entfalten ihre ganze Wirkung, strengere Strophen- und Gedichtformen geben ihren Aufbau hörbar preis. Der O-Ton einer Dichterlesung beinhaltet viele spannende Aspekte, in die man sich hörend vertiefen kann: Wie geht der Dichter seinen Gedichtvortrag an? Was lässt er mitschwingen, was bringt er an Stimmung, Intensität und Pathos mit ein? Wie setzt er die Pausen, wo den Spannungsbogen? Wo folgt der Dichter seinem Ausgangstext, wo überlässt er sich dem Textfluss, wo gerät er ins Stocken, wo kontrastiert er ihn vielleicht? Insbesondere auf lyrikline, wo das Hören einer Dichterstimme zu einem ganz intimen Moment werden kann, lassen sich die angesprochenen Aspekte nachhören und wiederholen, so oft man will.

Was passiert aber mit dem Gedicht, wenn es durch seine Autorin vorgelesen wird?  Die folgenden Sichtweisen demonstrieren, wie unterschiedlich ein Verständnis von Lyrik sein kann.

Ein weit verbreitetes Verständnis des Verhältnisses von Gedicht, Autorin und Publikum lässt sich auf folgende Aussagen reduzieren:

>> Das geschriebene Gedicht ist ein abgeschlossenes Werk und unveränderlich.
>> Jeder Vortrag des Gedichts ist eine Interpretation, die von einem Original ausgeht.
>> Der Autor hatte eine bestimmte Intention, die er durch die Mittel des Vortrags herausarbeiten kann.
>> Das Gedicht kann durch den Vortrag des Autors besser verstanden werden, weil dieser es seiner Intention entsprechend richtig interpretiert.

Ein performativer Ansatz dagegen begreift sowohl den Entstehungsprozess eines Gedichts als auch das Ereignis des Vortrags als etwas, dem man schon einen eigenen künstlerischen Charakter zuweisen kann:

>> Das Gedicht ist nicht der niedergeschriebene Text, sondern realisiert sich allein im Vorgang des Schreibens, des Lesens und des Vorlesens.
>> Die Lesung selbst ist mit all ihren Zufälligkeiten und Abläufen ernst zu nehmen. Raum und Zeit gehören zur ästhetischen Erfahrung dazu.
>> Damit ist die Bedeutung des Gedichts nicht fest, sondern situationsabhängig. Statt Interpretationen lassen sich Inszenierungen feststellen, die sich auf kein eigentliches Original mehr beziehen. Was eine gute Inszenierung ausmacht legen ihre eigenen Maßstäbe fest, die immer wieder neu verhandelt werden müssen.
>> Die Rezipientinnen müssen nicht länger versuchen zu verstehen, was der Autor eigentlich sagen wollte. Ihr eigenes ästhetisches Erleben des Gedichts ist der Ausgangspunkt für eine Auseinandersetzung.

Das Entscheidende sowohl bei einer Live-Lesung als auch beim Anhören einer Playlist auf lyrikline ist, dass die Autorin selbst liest. Dass dies zwangsläufig die beste Weise ist ein Gedicht zum Sprechen zu bringen, ist jedoch keine Selbstverständlichkeit, sondern hängt von dem individuellen Verständnis von Lyrik ab, das sich neben den vorgestellten Positionen natürlich auch noch in ganz anderen Weisen zusammensetzen kann.

 

Carolin Callies  auf lyrikline 

 

 

 

Readings to remember: W.H. Auden

Posted in W.H. Auden by lyrikline on 20. March 2014

Anglo-American poet Wystan Hugh Auden (February 21, 1907 – September 29, 1973) is regarded by many critics as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. He published about four hundred poems, including several really long poems, and more than four hundred essays and reviews about literature, history, politics, and many other subjects. His work is amongst others noted for its variety in tone, form and content.
For example, in this clip we see Auden reading a Doggerel [Knittelvers]. ‘Doggerel by a Senior Citizen‘ gives us the perspective of an old and curmudgeonly man, listing a dozen ways in which the world was worse in the 1960s than when he was growing up.


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Here you will find the original text of ‘Doggerel by a Senior Citizen‘.

W.H. Auden was born in England, married Erika Mann later to provide her with a British passport, moved to the United States in 1939, where in 1946 he became an American citizen. From 1948 on, Auden began to spend the summers in Europe, first in Ischia, Italy, where he rented a house, then in Kirchstetten, Austria, where he bought a farmhouse in 1958.
In 1973, he died of a heart attack in a hotel room in Vienna and was buried in Kirchstetten, where he wanted to be buried, and to have a typical Austrian funeral.

Don’t miss this wonderful document of his 60th birthday celebration in Kirchstetten, Austria 1967, preserving the moment when the mayor and some local kids deliver their birthday wishes in rhymes.


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Readings to remember: Joseph Brodsky

Posted in Joseph Brodsky by lyrikline on 19. March 2014

Russian poet and essayist Joseph Brodsky (May 24, 1940 – January 28, 1996) was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972, after 10 years of denunciation, imprisonment, hospitalization into a mental institution and years of not being allowed to publish nor to travel.
After he was put on a plane to Vienna in June 1972, he settled in America and never returned to Russia. In 1987, the American citizen Brodsky was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, receiving the Prize for Russian-language poetry.

Due to the fact that Brodsky wrote in Russian and English throughout his career, and was also self-translating his work occasionally, we thought it would be a good idea to come up with two clips today:

In this one, Joseph Brodsky reads his Russian poem Письма римскому другу [Letters To The Roman Friend]

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Find an English translation here.

In the second clip we see Brodsky reading his poem A Song.


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Readings to remember: Paul Celan

Posted in Paul Celan by lyrikline on 18. March 2014

In Catholicism, All Souls’ Day is the day to commemorate the dead souls, and annually occurs on November 2. In today’s clip we see Paul Celan (November 23, 1920 – April 20, 1970), born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Cernăuți*, reading his poem Allerseelen (All Souls) from the poetry book Sprachgitter (1959).

Celan’s texts can appear hermetically sealed. Not only is a contextualising often difficult in his work, also linguistic, historical, and religious modes interpenetrate and counteract each other.
In Allerseelen, some say, Celan speaks about the act of poetic creation (writing) and commemorates so to speak the creations themselves, his poems, which he has seen as living souls of its own kind.

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Here you will find the original poem and a very nice English translation by Michael Hamburger.

Listen to more poems by Paul Celan on lyrikline.

* Chernivtsi, Northern Bukovina, a region then part of Romania and earlier part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now part of Ukraine)