Terra (with music)

Terra (with music)

Design by Décio Pignatari, Music by Erik Loyer

Made with Stepworks

Exhibited in The Night Face Up, Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, April - June 2019

Reading a poem out loud brings to life its latent rhythms. In the case of concrete poetry, the visual inventiveness of the form implies that the act of “reading” can take many forms. Recordings exist of some of the original concrete poets reading their works; pronouncing what might at first glance seem unpronounceable.

In this work, I’ve used Stepworks, a technology for performative texts, to create a version of Décio Pignatari’s influential 1956 work of concrete poetry, “Terra,” which turns each line of the poem into a musical phrase. Each character (“t”, “e”, “r”, “a”, and the empty space) has been assigned a musical note or percussive sound. Every time the user presses a key, another line of the poem is played, with each letter’s note or sound being triggered on successive eighth notes. The result is surprisingly musical, even funky — revealing a previously unheard dimension of this important work.

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