Flee, They Say

Joseph Ceravolo - Drunken Winter (0'24"). I'm excited about Eric Baus's new blog project To The Sound, where the author of The To Sound documents his experiences interacting with and interpreting poetry sound files (thanks, Noah, for the tip). Here's a snippet from Baus's "about" page: "As I post clips and comments, I’m working under the assumption that everything is somehow significant and meaningful in an audio recording. Many times it will probably seem like I am making too much out of something like a throat-clearing or a skipped groove in a record or a cough from the crowd, but I’m hoping that this level of attention will pay off in ways I couldn’t have predicted had I stuck to the more overtly marked parts of the sound environment." The benefits of this "paratextual" approach are readily apparent in Baus's subtle, context-sensitive reading of two poems by Joe Ceravolo in this 11 May post. • A few additional notes: The recorded female voice whose melancholy aria is heard "behind" Ceravolo's own in "Drunken Winter" doesn't so much compete for our attention as create a sonic bed from which his gentle, mostly monosyllabic, /r/-less, highly echoic recitative arises. The voiced title admits an ambiguity not present in the printed version, with the unstressed second syllable of "drunken" shearing off to become the preposition "in." The /k/ in "drunk" recurs in "oak" (twice) and "like" (twice), though the lexical identity dominating the opening seconds of the poem is disrupted by noticeable differences in voicing (intensity, aspiration). There's a mic bump (or record skip) at about 9 seconds that falls into (or marks out) a gap between phrasal clusters. Combinations of /l/ and /d/ occupy the next, and to my ear, densest, segment of the poem (cold, wild, paddle), after which the long e attains prominence in "flee" and the repeated "geese." The "boy" at 16 seconds is to "June" what the (drunken, aging) "man" (our speaker) is to the "winter"? A kind of slant palindrome closes the poem, as the long vowel plus plosive "oak" reverses into the consonant cluster plus long vowel "sky." • Three voicings of "oak." An audia transcript (pdf).

Wave forms of poet Joe Ceravolo saying "oak"

XML feed here. • Elsewhere on Third Factory: index, ensemble, nb.

Wednesday -- 16 May 2007 -- permalink

The Lipstick of Noise is a product of the Third Factory • Inspired by the music blogs • And by Paul Blackburn's reel-to-reel deck. Intending to make good use of PENNSound and other sources of digital audio files of poetry • Comments welcomeXML.