Voice Alpha

on reading poetry aloud for an audience

10 thoughts on “do you hear music when you write your poems?

  1. What a delightful poet/reader/singer she is….so natural. Not sure many can pull that off…I think it is just her– her personality, the way she sees, writes and reads what she sees and writes. Whatever it is, it sure works in this reading. Makes me want to read, hear more of her work.

    Thanks for sharing it with us, Nic.


  2. That was wonderful. I want to learn how to read like that!

  3. Thank you to Kathleen for this great read.

    Curious, I Googled her name and this post came up, which offers some insights into her wonderful performance in the video:

  4. It is a delightful reading, seductive and engaging, drawing the listener into a contemplation of a fairly unpromising subject for a poem. But strictly speaking the only sung element in it is within the first half when Cin Salach draws words over a two-note phrase (B rising to G and returning to B, according to my bass guitar!), almost canting them teasingly, as to a child: ‘…a giant HOLE in the street’, ‘…doesn’t surPRISE me’, ‘…damage your susPENSion’, and so on, the rising G carrying the capitalised syllable. Then she shifts into a slightly different mode, still full of lilt and cadence and musical pacing, but relying more on that which is contained within the age-old conventions of storytelling. Their musicality, it seems to me, arises more from an embellishment of the natural rise and fall of the narrating voice than on any direct employment of the characteristics of song in the formal sense.

    None of which reflection seeks to detract from the skills employed and the effects achieved!

    • Thanks, Dick. That demystifies it a bit, but only a bit! I continue to wonder what the imperatives are that made her a) sing any words at all b) sing *those* words and c) only sing in the first half?

      Here’s Hedwig Gorski, another singing poet – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYhTEMnSroI. This performance is more deliberately musical, but still – I ask the same questions about the guiding imperatives Hedwig gets from the words she is sharing.

  5. Haven’t a clue and maybe neither does CS. But as narrative tweak it works in the same way that a random emphasis or pitch variation works when you read to kids. Not every stress or cadence is an element within the semantic process; sometimes we just want to arrest the attention, or beguile at random – or just get we zealots earnestly discussing possible motivations!

  6. Pingback: ‘a million bushels?’ – Carl Sandburg | Voice Alpha

  7. Pingback: music when you read? | Voice Alpha

  8. Pingback: Nic Sebastian: Ten Fabulous Videopoems – Moving Poems Magazine

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