Al Filreis

Ten newly found recordings of poems performed by Ashbery

Thanks to Anna Zalokostas, we at PennSound have just now located recordings of ten of John Ashbery’s poems. They had been preserved in a Segue Series audio tape, dating from a 1978 reading Ashbery did with Michael Lally at the Ear Inn. We had left the Ashbery portion of this reading not quite identified, and have now corrected that oversight. On Ashbery’s PennSound page now, and on the Segue series page, you will now see — and can hear — these segments:

  1. A Box and its Contents (1:42): MP3
  2. The Heralding Shadows of a New Adventure (2:01): MP3
  3. Haunted Landscape (3:28): MP3
  4. Five Pedantic Pieces (1:02): MP3
  5. The Cathedral Is (0:17): MP3
  6. Silhouette (2:36): MP3
  7. A Tone Poem (0:59): MP3
  8. Metamorphosis (2:26): MP3
  9. Sleeping in the Corners of Our Lives (1:21): MP3
  10. from Litany (19:59): MP3

Taylor Mead, the antihero floating by on his boombox barge

On October 5, 2013, Bob Holman hosted a memorial for Taylor Mead at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery. He and others then headed over to the East River (and E. 10th St.) to toss Mead’s ashes into the water with a group of attendees that included Mead’s niece Priscilla. Holman’s note in advance of the gathering read as follows: “Join me at Taylor Mead Memorial at St Mark’s Church today, Sat. Oct. 5 at 1:30. Followed by champagne and chocolate cupcake reception. Then we’ll go to the East River and wait for our antihero to float by on his boombox barge.” The photograph here was taken by Lawrence Schwartzwald and is used here in Jacket2 with the photographer’s permission. Further use requires explicit permission.

Digerati converged on the Writers House in 1999

Now a 30-minute podcast presents an except from this conversation.

John Brockman (left) with Andy Warhol at Warhol's factory

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

We are now releasing a new podcast — a 30-minute excerpt from a conversation with the “digerati” John Brockman assembled for a heady evening at the Writers House back in 1999.  The podcast is introduced by Emily Harnett. For more podcasts in this series, click here.

John Brockman’s world in the 1960s was a humming electronic world, in which multiple films, tapes, amplifiers, kinetic sculpture, lights and live dancers or actors are combined to involve audiences in a total theater experience. His Intermedia Kinetic Experiences permitted audiences simply to sit, stand, walk or lie down and allow their senses to be Saturated by Media. His 1969 book was By the Late John Brockman.

Yes, Brockman, the sci/tech literary uber-agent, the Happenings organizer in the 1960s and in recent years the creator of “Third Culture” and a leader of the digerati (cyber-intellectuals), came to the Writers House in 1999 along with six of the digerati. And I introduced and, with John, co-moderated a discussion about digital culture.

Graham Nash at the Kelly Writers House

Graham Nash visited the Kelly Writers House on Friday, September 20, 2013, for an interview/conversation moderated by Anthony DeCurtis as part of KWH’s annual Blutt Singer-Songwriter Symposium. At the end of the conversation, as we'd hoped, Nash played two songs: “Back Home,” an elegy for Levon Helm, and “Teach Your Children.” Below are video recordings of the two songs. Here are other recordings:

1. video recording of the whole event: VIDEO
2. audio recording of the whole event: AUDIO
3. audio recording of “Back Home”: AUDIO
4. audio recording of “Teach Your Children”: AUDIO

Jake Marmer's improvised poetry

hand-drawn improvised shape poem by Jake Marmer

Back in April 2013, I featured in this commentary an instance of Jake Marmer’s improvisational work, under the title “Improvised poetry: palimpsest of drafts.” Recently, Marmer recorded an another poetic improvisation.  The improvisation is based on one of his poems — and is a departure from it, “a new radical spontaneous draft.” It was remixed by Israeli bassist Jean-Claude Jones, who also recorded an improvised a bass track for it. Above is the  handwritten “shape poem” version (to borrow Hank Lazer’s phrasing) which Marmer says he found specifically helpful in the improvisatory process.

Here is the recording, as composed and performed by Jake Marmer and then remixed by Jean-Claude Jones (with added bass): MP3.