By repurposing vintage typewriters, artist Tracey Cockrell created Poemophone, a series of sound sculptures that explore the poetics of making meaning, playing with compositional strategies at the intersection of linguistics, literature, experimental music, & sculpture.
The Poemophone sculptures have been distributed nationally to collaborators – writers, musicians, visual artists – who have been using their instruments to compose new sound works in generative exchange.
In July 2011 collaborators will travel to Portland, Oregon to compose, record, & perform together for three days & nights within a month long installation at WorkSound. The installation will include all visual scores generated, the Poemophone series, & installations serving as performance stations.
Solo & ensemble performances will be unique, one-time happenings. Each night will offer new works and feature special guests. Live collaborative performances will happen on July 14th, 15th, and 16th. Tickets sold in advance and at the door.
All performances will be recorded. Scores & recordings will be compiled into a limited edition artist’s book & audio CD.
About the instruments:
Each sound sculpture has a unique ‘Outlaw’ tuning system formulated for a specific collaborator so that each sculpture has an individual voice. Applied to a typewriter keyboard, each letter of the alphabet has a musical tone. Any combination of letters played one of the instruments generates an audible musical phrase rather than written transcription. Text played on a Poemophone results in an act of translation, an interpretation. Because each instrument in the series has its own unique tuning system a text composed on one will sound differently when played on another.
About the Collaborators:
Poet Jorn Ake (myemptiedvalise.wordpress.com);
Writer M. C. Boyes (Asst Prof Engl, Virginia Commonwealth Univ; TN
Commission for Arts Fiction Fellow, Fiction International, Rhino, Spoon
River & others);
Musician Tim Cooper (coopercustomdrums.com);
Sound Artist Ethan Rose (ethanrosemusic.com);
Artists Peter Suchecki & Lauri Twitchell (redstartstudio.com);
Furniture Maker Jeff Wolf;
Sound Artist and Sculptor Tracey Cockrell (traceycockrell.com)
With special thanks to RACC for a 2011 Artist Project Grant