Little Plank Walk

Carolyn Doucette

2010, 05:30 minutes, B&W, English

TAPECODE 1017.00

Little Plank Walk is a spoken word, percussive and experimental saxophone piece incorporating video and animation to illuminate a poem about music, sexuality and subversive social behaviour. It is a tale of the lures and perils of rock ‘n’ roll and is informed by a collision of early and new adventures, the incantations of skipping rhymes and an enduring interest in poly-vocal experiments and sudden attacks of poetry on an unsuspecting public, perpetrated by poets like, the great Canadian bp Nichol and his poly-vocal group, The Four Horsemen. The notation system used to compose this piece has been informed by Alice Hamilton’s (writer/musician) recent musical training and references a 1930 composition for spoken chorus, Fuge aus der Geographie (The Geographical Fugue) a work which credited Viennese composer Ernst Toch with the invention of “Gespoken (spoken) Musik.” Poets and Dadaists had long been trying to conceive of ways to convince large groups of normal people to exclaim nonsense in public but it was Toch, distinguished composer of symphonic music, operas and film scores, who achieved this in a uniform and dignified fashion through the application of conventional musical (rhythmic) notation to speech in four parts. The rock ’n’ roll onomatopoeia used for background is an allusion to the oeuvre of the magical Little Richard who transformed Alice’s world when she discovered him on TV as a child.

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