Friday, February 1, 2008
John Giorno solo
In English. John Giorno is without a doubt one of the leading figures in performance poetry. In a career spanning more than fifty years, he has helped establish Spoken Word as an art form in its own right, one that demands commitment, constant bodywork to express tone, and method. His last Montreal appearance was in 1996. This time he will read in the intimacy of the Sala Rossa. At 72, Giorno is as passionate as ever, but serenity has replaced some of the impetuousness of youth. The same compelling energy, but now with humour and tenderness.
Watching Giorno perform can feel like a physical encounter, so we suggested he team with an equally visceral musician. Violinist Malcolm Goldstein has described improvisation as “the whole musician sounding”. He’s been doing virtuoso live improv for some forty years, using the instrument as an extension of the body to explore sound texture and resonance in a particularly immersive way. John Cage wrote a piece for him, as did Ornette Coleman but he’s been hard to get into the studio. Be sure to catch him here.
But wait, there’s more! The FVA always tries to give its audiences that little extra, a small epiphany they won’t find anywhere else. We asked singer/songwriter/musician Thomas Hellman to put some Giorno texts to music. Thomas has always had one foot in the U.S. and another in France while his heart stayed behind in Montreal, so he’s perfectly positioned for this blind date with Giorno. He’ll be joined on stage by his old pal, Olaf Gundel.