Daily Archives: January 23, 2015

[sic] Music

Sounds Upstairs: The Music Department’s collection comes to life!

Sunday, February 1, 2015
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM


[sic] Music

Can words alone be music? Since the early 1900s, poets and composers alike have said YES. Call it sound poetry or text-sound, here is a concert of word sounds alone. Various performers – TEXT-NICIANS – will present pieces as solos, duets, trios and choral readings in this ear-opening experience.


4400 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bringing together multiple departments from CLP-Main (Music, Film & Audio, Reference, Customer Services, JCEC, and Children’s), 10 library staff members will be performing in next month’s Sounds Upstairs concert under the direction of local composer David Mahler.

This concert will present music made with speech, not singing. Written by a variety of composers/poets, some pieces include instructions on how the performers are to interpret the verse. Each is very different from the next. Various inflections and cadences or lack thereof, and paying attention to the silences and spaces between words are a few of the techniques that will be used. Some pieces use parts of words, sounds, implied beats, or other nuances to produce unique effects. One piece has a choreographed element, using the space of the room and the direction of the sounds to illuminate a meaning. Another uses a piece of text as a basis for a round (like Row, Row, Row Your Boat).

In the words of one of the participants, this event can be summed up as “sound poetry, found poetry, round poetry.”


P.S. Some of the pieces will be recorded and broadcast from WQED FM. Stay tuned…

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