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Tuesday 10th April 2012, 6pm
Composer Talk   -  Tertulia

Spike Island, Bristol. http://tertuliablog.wordpress.com/ 'Zaum at Tertulia' 10.04.12 Caroline Wilkins 'Zaum' is the name given to a non-syntactical language invented in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. Coined by poet Chlebnikov, the word zaum means beyond mind in English. It describes experiments in sound symbolism and linguistic creation stemming from Russian Futurist writers of the time such as Alexei Kruchonych, who’s 'Zaum in Tiflis' (1918) will provide the basis for some of my discussion. There is a direct historical link between the trans-rational language or ‘words-in-freedom’ (Marinetti 1909) of 'zaum' and parallel inventions of electronic instruments such as the theremin, both insisting on sound and noise as liberating factors that challenged the aesthetic confines of words and music. I shall draw on Gerald Janacek’s translation of Krunchonych’s poem and trace some contemporary explorations of 'zaum' by both a Russian sound-poet and a theatre-composer. Finally I’ll refer directly to a sound theatre work made in collaboration with electronics composer Oded Ben-Tal, illustrating how Kruchonych’s text becomes integrated into the piece. Gerald Janacek – translation of Krunchonych from Russian to English: http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/kruch/lkrucht1.htm Zachàr Laskewicz – theatre-composer: http://users.belgacom.net/nachtschimmen/the-zaum-project.htm Valeri Scherstjanoi – sound-poet: www.tochnit-aleph.com/scherstjanoi/index2.html Caroline Wilkins/Oded Ben-Tal - 'Zaum: Beyond Mind', http://fass.kingston.ac.uk/research/music/areas/intermedia/zaum Tertulia is a regular salon event for people working with or interested in language from a range of different disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Founded by Phil Owen and Megan Wakefield, it is based in Bristol and currently supported by Arnolfini and Spike Island. ‘Tertulia’ is a Spanish word ordinarily applied to social gatherings with literary, artistic or bohemian overtones. One would speak of going to ‘a tertulia’ as in ‘a dinner’. We use it as a proper noun however, and tend to mispronounce it ‘ter-TYOO-lia’, to suit our anglophone mouths. We aim to function as a platform for new work and ideas, with capacity to provide engaged, supportive critical feedback; and also to create opportunity for individuals to share information about other writers, artists and thinkers who enthuse them. There is no need to book to attend Tertulia, and there is no ticket price or fee. But if you would like to present work at a future meeting, or if you would like any further information, please feel free to get in touch. readingroom@arnolfini.org.uk
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