This is a polyphonic acid drum voice text sound composition from my book and album FOUR PINTS OF GUINNESS FOR TONY CONRAD:
I am a poet and sonic artist. More specifically, I call myself an 'infinity poet' and a 'blood musician', which I will explain. The poems in my first full collection, Four Pints of Guinness for Tony Conrad, are what I call 'infinity poems' since I create digital poetic texts that suggest letters and words that continue well beyond the page, or screen. In this sense, there is a psychedelic component to my poems: the page is a snapshot of a poem that could be exhibited on large canvasses or cinema screens. The subject matter of my poetry is in an antifascist tradition of poets that includes Anna Mendelssohn, Miyo Vestrini, Katherine Gogou and the late poet Sean Bonney, on whose work I wrote half of my critical PhD thesis entitled Sonic Poetics: Sound, Listening and Polyphony in the Work of M. NourbeSe Philip and Sean Bonney. In this thesis I created the subject that I now call 'sonic poetics', which informs my entire artistic practice. Taking inspiration from the sound particle theories of thinkers like Epicurus and Xenakis, I apply the more recent idea of 'desiring-listening' from composer and writer Francois J Bonnet's work The Order of Sounds: A Sonorous Archipelago. I love the work of Tom Raworth, Sun Ra, Audre Lorde, Amiri Baraka, Aimé Césaire, Charles Simic, Juliana Spahr, Joseph Persad, Fred Moten, Emmett Williams...
My poems contain ideas of impossible music, sound at the edge of hearing, microsounds and noises. My poetry takes influence from contemporary Sound Studies as well as from experimental poetry in the UK. As an artist, I believe that it is through the ear that the individual can resist the dominant culture. My poems are polyphonic and fragmented in order to show solidarity with the minorities and marginalized of the UK and of Europe. Some poems aim to innovate aspects of the lyric form to achieve ecstatic utterance. I often release and perform music and poetry under my name, and under the name Blood Music, in order to connect with non-linguistic emotion, with sound heard in the womb, with the beating of blood in our veins. In this sense, my own 'sonic poetics' is one which aims to fuse sound as it is moving, with linguistic poetic meaning for reader and listener. I am a drummer, guitarist and sonic artist working with digital and analogue gear.
Since 2006 I have performed my text-sound compositions in venues and festivals across the UK, Europe and Japan. As tutor I have seventeen years experience teaching poetry, creative writing and English literature for a variety of universities, adult education colleges, arts institutions, and schools. I am Tutor in Writing Poetry (online, 2019-now) at the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education. Areas of teaching: poetry, creative writing, modernism, experimental poetry, James Joyce, Shakespeare. As a sonic artist, I am founder of BLOOD MUSIC (2010). As curator I founded PRAXIS in 2015, devoted to text-sound performance in London.
This is me using just the voice (on the left):
Readings for The Enemies Project at The Hardy Tree Gallery; readings and collaborations for Camaradefest at Rich Mix and Interrorbang at the Betsey Trotwood, A Year in Literature Festival, Magdalen College, University of Cambridge; CB1; Clinic; BroadCast; The Book Club Boutique; Post-Projects, New Cross - poster-poems installation from Steve Reich Variations, a sequence of poems.
Under the name BLOOD MUSIC Simon has played at festivals and venues across Europe and Japan including Berlin Atonal (Germany), Elevate (Austria) Les Urbaines (Switzerland), Ochiai Soup (Tokyo), Club Stomp (Osaka), La Cheetah (Scotland), UH Fest (Hungary), Les Atelier Claus (Belgium), Incubate (Holland), in a water tank in Lewisham. Blood Music and “text-sound compositions” have been performed many times at Cafe Oto in London: artist in residence (2016) and curator of PRAXIS (2016-now), a monthly event devoted to innovative practices in poetry and sound from academic and non-academic, outsider and under-represented artists.
FOR BLOOMSDAY 2018
TO THE LIGHTFIELD (IN CONSONANCE WITH GLENN BRANCA) w/ Joseph Persad 20.5.2018
NO WORDS w/ Phil Minton 22.4.2018
TAIKO SERGE POEM
"HEADACHES, BUSINESSLIVER, INTRAPROCESS, AFTERSHOCK BREWERY"
Poet-in-Residence at MultiMadeira 2013. I asked to be "Poet Laureate of Pontinha", the world's smallest country, but following the mishearing of Prince Renato II was made "Pirate Laureate of Pontinha" instead.
Royal Holloway, University of London - PhD candidate
Pembroke College, University of Cambridge - MPhil in renaissance literature
St. Andrews - MLitt in creative writing (poetry)
University of Leeds - BA in English language and literature