[Brandon LaBelle]



”The continual integration of electronics with vocality marks a history that not only produces an electronic aesthetics but stages electronics as a general social and psychological framework – of fragmentation, multiplication, and dissipation. Sound poetry manifests such interweaving, pitting the voice against or within the raptures of modernity. This legacy of sound poetry then leads to hearing words on the run that also have a destination in mind determined or molded by psychological and metaphysical beliefs in interior states, glossolalic rants, and bodily figurations that nonetheless have signifying bearing. In short, although sound poetry seeks to leave behind or undo semantic meaning, it can be heard to relocate or reorient meaning through a poetical and musical performativity fully wed to electronic machines and conditions.
In this sense, it seems important to understand sound poetry not as a free-floating catharsis that steps outside of language, but an attempt to dislocate language and interpretation onto the level of vocalic sonority. Its project produces a tension between linguistic and sonorous meaning, and it is my view that sound poetry is best appreciated through such tension, recognizing in what way it manipulates speech so as to generate other itineraries for language, while granting us an unfurled or unsteady picture of subjectivity. Such work integrates the technological, readily incorporating the decentering potential of electronics and laying the groundwork for alternative routes toward ‘words in freedom’ that both announce a postlinguistic future and reinforce existing notions of embodied performance.”

Brandon LaBelle: Raw Orality: Sound Poetry and Live Bodies. In: Norie Neumark, Ross Gibson, Theo van Leeuwen. Voice. Vocal Aesthetics in Digital Art and Media. Cambridge 2010, 147-171, hier: 166.