16 x 12 inches, oil on canvas paper, 2017
Friday, April 14, 2017
E.V.T. (Extended Vocal Techniques)
The term E.V.T. (extended vocal techniques) bridges the gap between the contemporary avant-garde and indigenous (or prehistoric) musical practices. The larger umbrella term ethnopoetics covers the ranges of vocal expression tracing singing and poetry back to its ancient origins. As Jerome Rothenberg beautifully states on Ubuweb,com: "Poems performed are poems sounded, where the sounding by the voice or by instruments acting as surrogate voices can bring a new sense of power/empowerment to performers and auditors. The further extensions and transformations of voice move it closer and closer to "the condition of music," to the point where words and syntax — the common constituents of language — are obscured, subordinated, or totally abandoned. The push toward such a poetry has long been present at the far limits of the modernist project and with it the recognition of similar processes and works outside of literature as such." So we're dealing here with the "conditions of music" which ultimately is the goal for any serious musicologist or connoisseur. The "ethnopoetics" page on UbuWeb easily traverses eras and continents, from isolated cultures to the western avant-garde. Shelley Hirsch is not included in the sound recordings featured on Ethnopoetics but we do find her work on the UbuWeb site under a compilation curated by Barbara Ess and Glen Branca (Just Another Asshole #5). The Shelley Hirsch performance in the top 100 list this year however, does not come from UbuWeb but was found on YouTube. You see and hear Hirsch performing with the artist and DJ Christian Marclay, himself a veteran of the Top 100 in a concert for the benefit of Roulette TV.