Last night Curran and I ventured out to the Toronto New School of Writing‘s evening with Dutch avant-garde composer and sound-poet Jaap Blonk. In the great hall of 918 Bathurst Culture, Arts, Media, and Education Centre, Blonk opened with Hugo Ball’s Seepferdchen und Flugfische, the poem I performed last year, which he performed ⎯ I must admit ⎯ better than I did. It was a fantastic evening of video, visual art, and the most bizarre sounds to ever emerge from the lips and throat of a human being, and I even managed to pick up an improvisational CD of Blonk and Maja Ratkje from Blonk himself. As I poked through his recordings, I asked Blonk how long it took to memorize Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate, one of his gateways into performance and sound poetry. He told me it took him about three years, with his first performance at a friend’s birthday party. I laughed. What a lovely night.

Also, check out this slow-mo video of Blonk performing. Yes, those sounds are coming from his mouth.


flababble 1 from Jaap Blonk on Vimeo.

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