for Voice and Live Electronics
Stephanie Pan: Voice
Stelios Manousakis: Live Electronics
Recorded live in De Flat Studios, 28/01/2007
This piece is a setting of two poems by Edward Estlin Cummings (1894-1962), an American poet, painter, essayist and playwright, best known for his poems and their unconventional use of language and writing. The two poems are characteristic of Cummings' poetry, in that they express clusters of meanings delivered through different linguistic channels simultaneously: semantic, syntactic, phonemic/sonic and the visual layout. However, the poems are very different and in some aspects clashing: short versus long, visual versus sonic, quiet versus noisy, oneness versus multitude. The first poem, " l(a ", is an example of Cummings' visual poetry with its characteristic use of punctuation and layout, depicting a scene while expressing the feeling of loneliness. The second poem, "NOISE", is a sonic poem, in that the linguistic focus is often shifted to the phonemic quality of the words, while the syntax obscures the meaning to describe a noisy city environment (New York City) with all its embedded worlds and bursting sounds. The settings use extended vocal techniques, live electronics and lighting to expand the poetic language by enhancing the discourse between the different aspects of each poem, focusing on phonemes, words, phrases, images, and the overall ambiance of each section. The piece was written for Stephanie Pan.