RIYL: sound poetry

Label: Recital Program

Epigenetic Poetry is not so much an album as it is an anthology of Fontana’s works dating from 1968 up until two years ago – being taken from the likes of magazines and art books. These poems are conducted in Italian, but Fontana doesn’t need to speak your language to draw moods from you. Fontana uses the jaw-harp, guitar, harpsichord (standard fare from the 60s/70s), a whistle and piano to construct these deconstructions of what our idea of poetry might be. As Recital notes, however, these are all secondary to what Fontana is able to do with his voice. His work doesn’t sound at peace, and it’s as if Fontana is trying to exorcise demons with the way he contorts his voice (naturally or assisted). Epigenetic Poetry is universal nightmare fuel and is a testament to what the human imagination is capable of in the realm of production. Listen to a preview of Epigenetic Poetry below via the YouTube video and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details

First Edition (315 copies)
• 16 page 9″x9″ pamphlet with 3 critical essays:

“Hypervox and electrophonic mask” by Giovanni Fontana
“Giovanni Fontana: Poetry as Action and Sound” by Patrizio Peterlini
“Giovanni’s Adventures in Mediumland” by Jean-Pierre Bobillot

Color images (score excerpts, artwork, etc.)
and Program Notes written by Fontana

• Remastered for vinyl by Sean McCann
• Digital download coupon (WAVs / MP3s)

An anthology documenting the sound works by the Italian sound poet Giovanni Fontana (b. 1946). These pieces, dating from 1968 – 2014, are scarcely available; culled from cassette magazines and art-book compendiums, along with two unreleased recordings.

Fontana has been a pioneer of Italian visual poetry, sound poetry, and experimental theater since the mid-1960’s. Together with peer Adriano Spatola, Giovanni worked on the publication Tam Tam (founded in 1972). He also rode in the same wagon as Arrigo Lora-Totino, splicing, pasting, and folding the compass of Italy’s intermedia.

In one light, Fontana’s voice erects a brutal and guttural effigy of man, primitive and hermetic. Yet, stepping to the side – one can see the thin strands of support bolstering such combustibles. As chested-strings of a piano, Fontana strikes firmly across the resonating spread of discovery and acceptance.

In addition to voice; jaw-harp, guitar, whistle, piano, and harpsichord are featured in these recordings, though the musical elements are secondary to the voice. Mouth, throat, and even nose [Poema a naso features a microphone inserted in the nostril] take the stage-light.

The interconnection between Giovanni’s visual and audio artwork is significant. Words twist and dissolve; blotted with ink, soaring across an empty score. This album acts as a frame for these 14 pieces, which can be seen as they are heard – spilling from speakers as letters meeting paper.

Price $17.95

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