At the sound and arts conference Large Objects Moving Air this January at London College of Communication , I presented the results of fields recordings made by myself and Chris Weaver of animals in the Sharjah Mountains in the United Arab Emirates. Something in the combined calls of the wild and caged animals I found comparable to the metaphysical poetry of Persian Sufi Jalaluddin Rumi. This I discussed at a literary conference in the Bristol University English Department earlier this year called Animal Utterances.
Since the spring, I had been archiving work collated while in the Arab Emirates and preserving the outtakes from audio interviews about the arts, which I tend to preserve because of their sonically or visually aesthetic qualities. These human sounds resonated with the pre-dawn howls of the creatures, caged and free, that we had recorded in the dead of night in the Kalba Mountains of Sharjah. My interviewees’ verbal ticks, the breaths, the ‘raw orality’ as discussed by Brandon LaBelle, these were utterances beyond the formality of language, tapping into an untrained part of ourselves, the wild part. Did my fascination with the sounds derive from their proximity to our truer selves, which the animals too expressed in the dead of night in the silence of the desert.
My conclusion was that we draw shaped with these sounds in the air, and to some extent, all such emittances become ‘sound poetry‘, serving as a mirror to the one who utters them. This Spring I’ll be developing my research further.
“Sound poetry takes pleasure and generates means for undermining the metaphysical legacy of essences, while also reproducing the notion that freedom lies through the body.”