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Ode To Gravity:
The Performance Poetry of Toby Lurie

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 80 min
Event Type: Spoken Word Program Origin: KPFA

Charles Amirkhanian interviews Toby Lurie, one of America’s best-known performance poetry artists. Lurie explains the various poetic techniques that he has developed such as his conversation-poems in which more than one voice interact to create a woven tapestry of poetic phrases and overlapping statements. Another type of poetry discussed and performed here are one-word or sound-poems, which attempt to get inside a single word, fully explore its parts and create new meanings by emphasizing or rearranging its syllables. He also talks about his found-poems that are created by cutting up and rearranging found texts, in much the same way that William S. Burroughs has done with prose. Originally a student of music, Lurie has also scored or orchestrated many of his poems, combining many traditional musical forms and elements such as fugues, canons, and pitch with the spoken word. Joining Toby in performing many of his poems is his wife Jan, as well as Charles, who despite being unfamiliar with the poems, seems to instinctively understand what the desired effect of such pieces are. Much of the poetry heard in this program can be found on Lurie’s album “Mirror Images” or in his book of the same name.

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  To Open It In A Gentle Surgery (0:35) -- The Moment (1:12) -- Beautiful Child Innocence (2:22) -- Color Improvisation No. 3 (2:05) -- Assemblage (0:42) -- Symbols (1:30) -- Reflections (0:57) -- Upon Reading Malloy (1:00) -- The Organic Poem (9:08) -- Nonsense Makes Sense in a Senseless World (1:00) -- Sunset & Child (2:38)
Performers:  Toby Lurie, reader
Jan Lurie, reader
Charles Amirkhanian, reader
Genre:  Poetry
Subject:  Lurie, Toby; Lurie, Jan; Poetry; Performance poetry; Cut-ups (Literary form)
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Lurie, Toby; Lurie, Jan
Recording Date:  2/11/1976
First Broadcast Date:  2/11/1976
 
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Computer Talk (1:57) -- The Watergate Caper (1:51) -- [3 phrase improvisation] (2:40) -- Are we not what we seem to be... (2:26)
Performers:  Toby Lurie, reader
Jan Lurie, reader
Charles Amirkhanian, reader
Genre:  Poetry
Subject:  Lurie, Toby; Lurie, Jan; Poetry; Performance poetry; Cut-ups (Literary form)
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Lurie, Toby; Lurie, Jan
Recording Date:  2/11/1976
First Broadcast Date:  2/11/1976
 
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