Scroll down to content

Poemophone, COCA performance

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:

For more on the Cacophonous Collaborations and Reading Series


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;

Boys Whistling Like Canaries

The Circle Line

Asleep in the Lightening Fields

The Poetry Foundation

The Art Section

Writer M. C. Boyes;

Metaphysical Circus

Ginko, Pigeon, Light: A Fable


Musician Tim Cooper;

Bolero Vibes Project

Pruebas De marimba cromatica. nos visita el musico Timothy Juice Cooper

A Mi Madera

Sound Artist Ethan Rose;

Ethan Rose Music

Artists Peter Suchecki & Lauri Twitchell;


Furniture Maker Jeff Wolf;

PNCA students

Sound Artist and Sculptor Tracey Cockrell;

Tracey Cockrell studio

With special thanks to RACC for a 2011 Artist Project Grant

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: