found sound

This is pretty tangential to poetry, but I want to talk about it. Hope ya don’t mind!

Anyways, as an assignment for another class I’m taking with Lytton I’ve been tasked with developing a piece of installation art for the campus. My installation is going to be sound-oriented, as it will consist of sound poetry playing from MP3 players in bathroom stalls; the title of the piece is Deep Shit. The sound poetry itself is a compilation of recordings I’ve gathered from peers on campus (perhaps I’ll post the final MP3 on here at some point). In gathering these raw sounds, I asked friends and classmates of mine to sit by themselves for at least one minute in the recording studio in the basement of Newton; during this time,  I asked them to make sounds (words or otherwise) into the microphone. I then took these sounds and began to compile them into, like I said, sound poetry — a process I’m not yet done with. 

The sounds I got out of people under these understandably uncomfortable circumstances were fascinating. There were recognizable patterns and trends regarding what people decided to talk about, varying from stress to school to creativity to family, all broken up by intermittent mutterings of “wow this is awkward” and “oh my god, what should I talk about?” 

Regardless, this process has definitely heightened my interest in the idea of found sounds/words in poetry. I suppose all words are “found” to some extent, but the idea of soliciting them from people in a controlled environment is really interesting to me. 

But yeah, keep an eye out for these installations! They’ll be up by April 2nd if not sooner, and there will definitely be one in both the women’s and men’s room in Welles. 

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