The Unanimous

Workshop at the Stanley Milner Library

In Workshop on March 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm

After an extended hiatus, Tonguebath returns to the realm of sound. Last weekend we conducted a poetry workshop alongside spoken word guru Mike Gravel. The group, led by Alexis Kienlen, was an astute bunch of teens willing to get weird with their voices, even in such a normally quiet environment as the library.

Jeff and I begun with a performance of Underature, but spent most of the hour letting the kids muck around with some of the possibilities of vocalization. One of the most interesting things we did was get them to “Read the Senses”, which was an experiment in synesthetic translation. We set out a grab-bag of interesting objects (a deflated, black balloon, a wood bowl, a pipe, a small unidentified mammal’s skull, a one-year-old Chicken Mcnugget, scented oils and spices, etc) and asked everyone to translate these objects into sound. Sadly, or luckily, no one attempted to translate the Mcnugget, but the varied results achieved through the other objects were suprising and wonderful.

All-in-all, it was a great ol’ time and we are looking forward to more opportunities to conduct such workshops.

Preparing for the workshop also got us stoked about sound again, and we hope to ride this momentum as we work on a few new pieces.

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Together again for the first time

In Reading on October 16, 2008 at 4:52 pm
glenN & Jeff at the Underdog

glenN & Jeff at the Underdog

The blog helps (thanks for this wordpress). What began many months ago as two individuals with a shared interest in sound poetry, and all that entails, has culminated in this—a babbling gruesome twosome become a protolinguistic aural singularity with all its inchoate concommitants. Tonguebath.

An opportunity to perform together at the 2008 Edmonton Poetry Festival led to further opportunities. Trisia Eddy, mastermind behind the Factory (West) Reading Series, invited us to perform last night in the basement of the Black Dog amid poets Marita Dachsel, Alice Major, and Jennica Harper, who came to Edmonton to launch her new book. An odd fit—the honeyed calm of Marita’s lyrics churned up by a duo of growling-screaming-hissing tonguebathers, leaving a heaving, sediment-thick chop for Alice to wade into and pacify once more. By the time Jennica stepped up to the mic to let us in on What It Feels Like for a Girl the froth and murk was an indolent metaphor blanketing the Underdog floor.

The response nonetheless was heartening. Even the incidentals who slipped in for only a beer were astonished by what they’d heard. We don’t need this kind of encouragement, but it does make the extra toil seem extra worthwhile. It makes launching a blog a temptation, to showcase some of what we’ve been up to. Sound poetry ain’t exactly pop music. It would be a terrific help to use this organ to connect with we precious few strewn around the world…share our developments & experiements with, invite criticism from, open dialogues amongst sympathetic others.

Easy peasy, etc.