“The most radical poetic grip on the subconscious”
Huellkurven is an online sound poetry magazine and a series of events dedicated to sound poetry, poésie sonore, lautpoesie, noise poetry, sound-text composition, auditive poesie and audio poetry. They’re based in Vienna and released five excellent magazines/compilations by now.
Why did you decide to start a magazine dedicated to sound poetry?
Thomas Havlik: All of us, Jörg Piringer, Jörg Zemmler and Petra Ganglbauer – who was also a co-editor of the first edition – as well as I had always had a strong relationship to transdisciplinary formats, to performance and to experimental works, to all the “poetry outside the book”. The publishing facilities and receptions are still very limited and mostly restricted to live evenings or to more or less remote, only “insiders” known blogs or online magazines. For example, a literary magazine or a publisher regularly bringing out DVDs of intermediate literary performances has not really taken place. Perhaps one might say that we simply wanted to take a piece of this missing space simply to provide a literary genre with a platform that explicitly demands to be heard – and for that reason alone hardly exists in a form printed between book covers.
Meanwhile the Huellkurven are archived by the library of the German literature archive Marbach, in order to provide it for the scientific research in the long term.
Why did you want to do this as an online magazine?
Because of the general accessibility and our personal possibilities.
Would releasing this compilations on vinyl be a relevant thing to do?
It would be, of course. But not for us at the moment, this is beyond our possibilities.
What does ‘Huellkurven’ mean?
The Hüllkurve is, on the one hand, the oscillation pattern of an amplitude, on the other hand, the term is derived from the audio technique and is used in music synthesizers as a method to control the course of volume or tone of tones by means of an hüllkurven generator. This is a good name for a soundpoetry magazine, we were thinking, because in a way it is precisely this: using methods of electroacoustic media to acoustic language material, until only the colour of the sound or “emotional gesture” of a spoken word remains – and to work with it.
Sound poetry was part of dadaism, which started hundred years ago, so what makes it still relevant today, you think?
If it is true that it can be fruitful for a novelist to deal with lyric poetry, the idea is that working with soundpoetry again provides the poet with a profit that can enrich and inspire his own work. I believe that an examination of soundpoetry can, of course, lead today to remarkable, highly individual works, whose aim is not primarily the visualization of auditory qualities, but which, as a matter of course, deal with the language as a material and thus can be an expression of completely independent acoustic poetics.
Soundpoetry in the sense of “pre-speech of the body”, so to say, “speaking of one’s own person”, is still a large, natural part of many contemporary performances and dance productions, even in modern music.
Dadaism was related to futurism, but if you do something now which was futuristic than, does this makes it retro?
With the Huellkurven, we did not want to explicitly create a retro-illumination of a genre from the outset, but are deliberately on the search for present-day authors who, as far as possible, identify themselves as a sound- performancepoets from their own stand – and must not be asked to “try something out with the computer”.
We want to make use of computer facilities that were not available before. At least not in the generally accessible form, as today, with our laptops, recording and processing devices. The “machines” are, of course, dependent on the one who uses them, on the subjective use and the artistic interpretation of their possibilities – as well as on being used as a writing instrument in the literary context at all.
For me personally, a “retro” soundpoetry piece would be one which is reduced to the singling out of individual sonic characteristics. Or the hundredth a capella interpretation of a poem by Hugo Ball or the Ursonata by Schwitters.
Sound poetry is an in-between art form: it’s sound, but not music. It’s poetry, but not text. What does fascinate you about the in-between form of sound poetry?
Above all the immediacy between the artist and the recipient, the delimitation to the physical experience of poetry, which takes place in the process, and which is difficult to achieve with printed texts. In soundpoetry there is a lot of acoustic irritation, which has little or nothing to do with the habitual use of language but reminds me of it when I hear it. This makes it, for me, the most radical poetic grip on the subconscious, the most extreme form of deletion of “irrelevant” – and I can use it as an earwash if I get home after a long night out and want get rid of all the talkings.
Sound poetry is a niche art form. If you’re interested in a niche subject, are you more tempted to go to search for other people around the world who are interested in the same thing as you are?
Sure. There are not many, just in this country one or two sound- and performance poets, and in the next also. From the machinists of Minaretti to today’s capitalist-minded nishists, one might say. Through the possibilities of the internet and, last but not least, the editorial activity of the Huellkurven, there is – hopefully – ever more tightly networked and synergy.
– Joeri Bruyninckx
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