Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Henri Chopin

Henri Chopin might not be on everybody’s radar, but his form looms large over the post-WWII underground. One of the founding fathers, central performers, thinkers in and publishers of the poesie sonore (sound poetry) movement and a key figure in the French avant-garde from the fifties on, the unique span of his career bridges collaborations with the pre-WWI Dadaists, the American Beat poets of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs, and via his reel to reel voice manipulations, the prefiguring of the experimental vocal/tape aesthetic of the current post punk cadre that includes Double Leopards and The Skaters.

 

Renouncing the bind of the written work as a frozen, dead representation of speech, Chopin’s sound poetry is a magical evocation of the pure powers of the voices, stripped bare of language. His performances and actions are untamed and bold evocations of voice and body in the moment; for it’s there that Chopin believes that authentic poetry can take on meaning. Listening, you feel that the black springs of poetry are graspable, and that Henri Chopin is the stamina of that poetry to birth, in a machine-gunned hearth, the ember of bodily song. This is his first ever performance in Scotland.

  • Audio

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

  • Video

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0