This week I have been listening to the sound poetry of Bob Cobbing. Sound poetry is meant to bring human speech down to it’s most basic components and bridge the gap between music and speech. The recordings of Cobbing are very playful, and often remind me of the sort of experimentation with sounds that my daughter would make at the very beginning of her exploration into speech. Sound poets are trying to reach beyond words and meanings and capture something of the essence of the human voice.
For many though, sound poetry will be a lot of gobbledygook which signifies nothing, and in no way am I going to attempt to disabuse anyone of their view. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so poetry is in the heart and ear, and if your not feeling it well, your just not feeling it.
Where I do think sound poetry is very useful though, in on the level of performance. Often people can feel quite inhibited by performing in public, it does not come naturally to many. However, it is a skill that can be learned. I would encourage anyone who feels inhibited by the sound of their own voice or is worried that they may not be making the most of their vocal chords to listen to sound poetry. I would then encourage people to play around and explore sounds themselves. Generally, once we stop being children, we are not encourage to play in this way. However a good relationship to sound is important to make the most of your voice when speaking in public. Playing with your voice should deepen you understanding of sound, and also what you as an individual can achieve with your own voice. Go on, have some fun.