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Words:
Program No. 5: Clark Coolidge

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 64 min
Event Type: Spoken Word Program Origin: KPFA

One in a series of programs produced by Clark Coolidge that feature the works of late 20th century poets, sound poets, and authors. This recording contains a tape-word piece called “Preface” created by Coolidge himself. In it he has taken a pre- recorded introduction or preface, (probably borrowed from a commercial album), in which an unidentified radio announcer describes the experimental and aleatoric nature of John Cage’s “Variations Four” and “Variations Five”, and has cut it up and rearranged it, repeatedly over a period of more than an hour. With each iteration the text becomes more unintelligible until it is just a series of random phrases and syllables. The effect is hypnotic as one tends to focus less and less on the meaning of the words and more upon their sound. A fitting tribute to Cage, who always thought that we were surrounded by music, if we only took the time to listen.

Musical Selections:  Preface (ca. 1969) (63:03) / Clark Coolidge
Genre:  Sound Poetry
Subject:  Cage, John; Text-sound compositions; Sound poetry
People:  Coolidge, Clark, 1939-
First Broadcast Date:  9/29/1969
 
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