Deakin University

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Something like an emergency

posted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Josephine SciclunaJosephine Scicluna, T Kazas
‘Something like an emergency’, a sonic poem recorded on CD, investigates the hunger of writing as a desire, not for a return of the dead, but for a breakthrough of impasses in language, both in love and in the writer’s (frustrated) translation of vision. Proceeding from Bachelard’s phenomenological observation that the poetic image puts language in a state of emergence, this work argues, instead, that poetry puts language in a state of emergency. Deleuze and Guattari’s idea of music as a deterriorialization of the refrain; a rhythmic pattern which marks out a territory, is invoked in both the music performance and in the words. The writing uses a ‘matting’ (rhizomatic) effect in its verse fragments which echo and refract others. Reverberation is also explored in the piano and its sonic processing which provides elements of dissonance and consonance, refracting dialogues in the text. Voice and music sometimes argue, sometimes agree, and sometimes are indistinguishable. However, this dialectic is further disturbed: at times the piano and voice seem to pay no attention to each other, taking off on their own ‘lines of flight’, in subversion of ‘collaboration’. In its use of recorded improvisational techniques this work also challenges the ‘superiority’ of live improvisation.
It was first performed at Double Dialogues conference, ‘The Hunger Artist: Food and the Arts’, Toronto, 2010. The text and accompanying discursive article form a book chapter in 2012 Food and Appetites: The Hunger Artist and the Arts, Ann McCulloch and Pavlina Radia(eds). It has been broadcast on RRR, 3CR radios and is released on CD and Youtube. By invitation it was performed at the Midsumma Festival, 2014.



Scicluna, Josephine & Kazas, Tom

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.



Publication classification

J2 Minor original creative work


1 CD: stereo (14 mins 05 secs)

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