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Fear of music : sounded poetry and the poetry soundtrack
journal contributionposted on 2012-03-01, 00:00 authored by David MccooeyDavid Mccooey
This essay proposes the term ‘poetry soundtrack’ for a form of sounded poetry that I have been practising for some years (examples of which can be found in this issue of Axon). The poetry soundtrack is a sonic object made up of original poetry, music, and sound design. Such a form is now being produced—under various names—by numerous poets, thanks to the development of the Digital Audio Workstation (or DAW). In my essay, I argue that the poetry soundtrack has occupied an aesthetic no man’s land between avant-garde ‘sound poetry’ and documentary-style recordings of poetry readings. I propose that a general ‘fear of music’ has led critics to favour such forms, and concomitantly to ignore musico-poetic forms of sounded poetry. In addition, I analyse the ‘digital poetics’ that can be found in producing sounded poetry with a DAW, especially with regard to the ‘vocal staging’ that such technology can produce in the poetry soundtrack.