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An Evening of Polypoetry

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Sound poetry, also known as polypoetry, is a performance art, a live show, which combines many elements, such as the written word, human voice, musical instruments, electronic sounds, movement, mime and projected images.

A major proponent of this art form is Enzo Minarelli, performer and scholar from Bologna, Italy, who developed a Manifesto of Polypoetry, containing his theories of the performance of sound poetry, touching on the rhythms of language, exploitation of sounds and use of electronic media.

This Wednesday evening, November 18, starting at 6:30 pm, Enzo Minarelli, will be performing a one-man show of his polypoetry. The performance will be held in the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. The entrance will be at 111 Amsterdam Ave. at West 65th St. The event is free and open to the public.

Minarelli developed a Manifesto of Polypoetry, containing his theories of the performance of sound poetry, touching on the rhythms of language, exploitation of sounds and use of electronic media. He has published many books of poetry, and articles, discussing this relationship of poetry to sound, the written word, musical rhythm, images (video), light, space, costumes. Some of his published poetry includes: Poesie Doccaso; Meccanografie; Poemi Cognomi; Commediarcom; Multipoesie Melogrammatiche; Obscuritas Obscenitas. He has been visiting poet at the San Francisco State University, University of California at Davis and San Diego, Universidad Autonoma in Mexico City, Pontificia Università Cattolica São Paolo in Brazil.

In 1983, Minarelli founded 3ViTre PAIR Editions of Polypoetry, a record label, which produced a/v recordings of his sound poetry, as well at that of other sound poets such as Pierre-André Artaud, Jean-Claude Gagnon, Alain-Martin Richard, Luca Gentilini, Maurizio Maldini, Beth Anderson, Bliem Kern and Charles Amirkhanian. He has also performed all over the world including Brazil, Canada, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United States.

Last year, Minarelli, donated his entire A/V sound poetry archives, which includes five LPs, seven 45rpms, one CD, one CDRM and one video, to the Rodgers & Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. He also donated a copy of his book, La Voce della Poesia, in which he elaborates on the art of voice performance and poetry sounds; while also discussing other historic avant-garde movements such as Futurism, Dadaism and Surrealism. This book serves as a guide to other sound poets, movements, events, festivals, publications, & programs.

Some of his a/v recordings are: Coralmente me stesso; The Sound side of poetry; Videogrammi: le videopoesie sonore, le videoinstallazioni, le fonografie, le performances di polipoesia: 1948-1998; Polipoetry issues directed by Enzo Minarelli. Numero 3. His recordings also feature sound poetry performance artists from France, Italy, Portugal, Scandinavia, Spain and the United States.

In the fall of 2008, Enzo Minarelli interviewed Sara Velez, Curator of the Sound Archives, for an article discussing the Rodgers & Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, which was published, in the Juliet Art Magazine from Trieste, Italy.

To highlight this unusual collection, Rodgers & Hammerstein Recorded Sound Archives, has created an exhibit, which can be viewed on the 3rd floor of the Performing Arts Library. The exhibit, which is in two display cases, features not only the Minarelli Collection, but also a selection of other audio recordings and print materials, dealing with sound poetry as a performance art. Some of the other materials in this exhibition are two books: Sound Art: zwischen Avantgarde und Popkultur (Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen, Germany), which discusses sound art in musicological discourse, music of speech, notation of sound in Russian modernism, Radiokunst, Artaud and the serialization of radio; and Impure: reinventing the word: the theory, practice and oral history of spoken work in Montreal, which includes interviews with current performance artists. Other recordings are: 10+2: 12: American text sound pieces, including works such as: 62 Mesostics re Merce Cunningham/John Cage; Speech Songs: no. 1 & 2/Charles Dodge; Torero piece/Beth Anderson; Crickets/Aram Saroyan; Lautpoesie: eine Anthologie, edited by Christian Scholz.

Program for Wednesday's performance:

1. Musicmimicry [how to make music using hands in the language of old Egypt]
2. Spiritual canto for St. John of the Cross [divine love]
3. Chorally myself [for Monte Andrea, XIII century]
4. Ăopoem [for São Paulo, Brazil]
5. Great platonic love [to Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina]
6. Erotic Spanish, Brazilian poems [to César Vallejo]
7. Monòstico
8. Con sonants
9. Queen
10. Poem [from Polypoetry #4, video-images produced by Centro Video Arte Palazzo dei Diamanti University, S?o Paulo, Brazil; music by Ares Tavolazzi, ex Area Band, LunaSoleDado]

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