Marie Osmond talks about Dada sound poetry and recites Hugo Ball's Karawane (video)

resizing a nonsensical poem

In 2006, Kenneth Goldsmith posted a 30 second clip of Maria Osmond reciting Hugo Balls' 1918 sound poem "Karawane" on the TV show Ripley's Believe It or Not; it was taken from a CD supplement to Greil Marcus's Lipstick Traces. Now a video clip of the full 2 1/2 minute segment has surfaced, which includes Osmond's introduction to Dada and sound poetry. (Thanks to Jay Sanders for alerting me to the clip.)

In his November 17, 2006 blog post at WFMU, which included a link to the mp3 now also at UBU, Goldsmith tells the story:

Taken from a Ripley's Believe It Or Not segment on sound poetry from the mid-80s. According to producer Jed Rasula, "Marie Osmond became co-host with Jack Palance. In the format of the show, little topic clusters (like "weird language") were introduced by one of the hosts. In this case, the frame was Cabaret Voltaire. Marie was required to read Hugo Ball's sound poem "Karawane" and a few script lines. Much to everybody's astonishment, when they started filming she abruptly looked away from the cue cards directly into the camera and recited, by memory, "Karawane." It blew everybody away, and I think they only needed that one take. A year or so after it was broadcast, Greil Marcus approached me, wanting to use Marie Osmond's rendition of Hugo Ball for a cd produced in England as sonic companion to his book Lipstick Traces; so I was delighted to be able to arrange that."


And here is a machine transcript of Marie Osmon'd intro:

when you know you're going to be on stage
you wanna make sure that you look your best

an answer properly dressed for the park

appearance with especially important to a gentleman named hugo ball
he was a poet aniline eleven artistic movement combat that
like this
with part of it constant
which slipped
like this
the number thirteen on the cardboard to be covered his face
had nothing
or everything
to do with this performance
dot now i didn't do any claim to make sense
but they didn't want to make unconventional are two things
most of them in the form of social protest
in this case
your statement included waving a small flags while resizing a nonsensical poem
the poem was written and first performed by a single pollens eric
in nineteen sixteen
and it remains to this day classic example of what mister ball called
sound poetry
here's what it sounds like
a totally imaginary language invalid
by mister obama
come on angel in front of blood in my we'll prolly humble off
feed on the pasta hotmail hunting down the moment i don't know i thought i
fully approved you will not allow
another band that i want propped up or hole
some bottled wanna rock dot
xd i dot gotta method boombox aqua listens to whether or not just a minute
have not only
have come up
it didn't make any sense
but it wasn't supposed to make any sense
but nevertheless this team of performance about a rousing ovation and
turned out not to be a passing fancy
but a new art form
downed poetry

of related interest:
Jerome Rothernberg performs Balls' "Karawane" (with Jean-Charles Francois, percussion and Bertram Turetzky, bass: MP3
& note:
PennSound's Dada Sounds pages (which includes a link to the Rothenberg performance, to this page, and to many other Dada sound poetry recordings)