by Lisa Jones and Alva Rogers
Sometimes the whole of a drama takes on a melody. Its prose becomes poetry,
lengthened across arcs of cantilated silence and breath. This is certainly
true of Stained (Lisa Jones and Alva Rogers). A fearlessly slow tongue arouses,
torrefies, and decomposes this fable of spare conjuration, leaching out
the Blues which then rise off the story like a constellation.
Salvation at 1 am by Donald Swearingen
Cunningly layered into rhythmic bursts of specific profit-motive phrases,
Salvation at 1 am (Donald Sweringen) is a deployment of sound which
exactly parallels the deceit of advertising. Proliferation-of-desire
motifs are revealed here, in all their capitalistic barbarity, whether
through the stomach of Jesus, the halo of Satan, or the Money of money.
Partial Perceptions by Helen Thorington
Partial Perceptions, like the aurally floating Terra Dell'Imaginazione
(both by Helen Thorington), is negentropic, and concerns the mystical
as it exists within the physical -- identifying their common substrate.
In this case, the several realities are coalesced infrapsychically into
a moment at sea. Sound is uttered, mimicked, improvised upon, and thus
self-educated, it organizes into qualities (organic and inorganic) and
emotions (laughter, fury, loneliness, religious curiousity). In one
sense, this is a kind of jazz. Wherever the jazz touches down, the sea
becomes animated and melodically free. From the ooze, wherein the water
has learned to sing, the ootid bubbles up and the femme inspiratrice
gains her legs, leaving the habitat of water for the habitat of earth.
Sim's Serenade and Pruning by William
Feats of legerdemain mark the productions of Sim's Serenade and Pruning
(William Morelock). Not only rabbits, but philosophical rumination,
swift calibration, elliptical irony, deranged and crooning voices, variation,
and glissandi, are scattered from the clever magician's hat, and re-collected
by the abrupt segue.
Terry Allen's Stories
Return to Juarez, DugOut, and Bleeder (Terry Allen) are little aggregate
heaps of bone, rouge, ash, and gunpowder pressed into vast emotion-horizons.
These curvilinear dramas, irrupting with blood, lust, and larceny are
nevertheless a conjunction of rapture and possession. If the story is
in the teller, then the voice of Jo Harvey Allen is a commitment, a
lifelong tryst; while the voice of Terry Allen carries all the regret
of a man who lost sight of the Second Coming but is still hearing it
come to pass and can't turn down its volume.
Guns by Don Joyce and Negativland
Despite its mosaic properties, Guns (Don Joyce and Negativland) is a
singular and sacrificial experience. Fired propulsively through the
instinct of fear; the passion of murderer, hunter, and showman; and,
inevitably, through the barrel of a gun, the bullet, from inside-out,
becomes public. Offered to society as psycho-acoustic event, it finds
its aral middle at disequilibrium -- equal parts of sonar and societal
Shake, Rattle and Roll by Gregory Whitehead
Shake Rattle and Roll (Gregory Whitehead) is a convening of seven philosophers
-- brilliant, irregular, shaded, oblique, fervid, melodious, and awkward
-- who lament upon the problem of the body; rhapsodize upon that frontier
which corpus and logos visibly occupy together; and theorize upon the
presence of vibration during a virtual absence of sensation. The "actor"
appears during the frequent, if unstable, consolidation of the seven
philosophers into the one peerless lover; thus, that which has previously
served as the ground snaps into the essential nature of the figure.