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 twelve collaborators traveled to Portland, Oregon to compose, record, & perform together for three days & nights within a month long installation at WorkSound. The installation will included visual scores generated, the Poemophone series, & installations serving as performance stations.
Solo & ensemble performances were unique, one-time happenings. Each night will offered new works and feature special guests. All performances were recorded. Scores & recordings have been compiled into a limited edition artist’s book & audio CD.
In a way we can describe thoughts as rhythmic pulsations, and the way that we think is to leap from one rhythmic pulsation to another to create images.
Listen to ‘Collaborative Poem’ here:
Listen to ‘Found Letter’ here:
About the instruments:
Each Poemophone (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;
Writer M. C. Boyes;
Musician Tim Cooper;
Sound Artist Ethan Rose;
Artists Peter Suchecki & Lauri Twitchell;
Furniture Maker Jeff Wolf;
Sound Artist and Sculptor Tracey Cockrell;
With special thanks to RACC for a 2011 Artist Project Grant