Various Artists

lunapark 0,10

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One of the more fascinating spoken word collections available, lunapark 0,10 consists of tracks recorded throughout the 20th century from a variety of avant-garde writers and artists, in a variety of languages and contexts. It's a perfect release for the Sub Rosa label, which has long focused on the recorded history of innovative art, and serves in its way as a grand sampler for the curious listener as well as those well-versed in the authors and artists collected. Hearing such noted authors as James Joyce (his selection being the famous reading of "Anna Livia Plurabelle"), Gertrude Stein, and E.E. Cummings tackle their own work is a treat, but the joy of lunapark 0,10 is its range beyond a literary canon. Kurt Schwitters' frenetic "Ursonate" has to be heard rather than read; similarly Camille Bryen's readings, while Brion Gysin's selections start with "Pistol Poem," numbers interspersed with gunshots. The earliest recordings, while understandably rough in terms of fidelity, often have a strong power that transcends the recording medium -- Vladimir Maiakovski's readings of "Une Aventure Extraordinaire" and "Ecoutez! -- Poslouchaitie" capture a strong, dramatic voice in full flight, echo adding to its impact. Once or twice the speakers introduce their pieces with context -- Richard Huelsenbeck's "Phantastische Gebete," recorded nearly 50 years after its writing, is explained as being a piece from the original Cabaret Voltaire. One interesting selection is from Marcel Duchamp -- rather than reciting poetry or prose, he speaks about "The Creative Act," a calmly spoken meditation on artistic impulse taken from a 1957 convention appearance. If anything, lunapark 0,10's emphasis is on the power of the spoken word regardless of the language spoken -- or in some cases, not even being language at all.

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