Elke SCHIPPER (Germany)
Elke Schipper (1951, Germany) Ц sound
poet, musician, curator.
Studied Literature, Philosophy and History. Since 1976 has been working as a
free-lance author, writing about art and music focusing on the development of
the aesthetic theory of improvisation; for the past twenty years has regularly
organised exhibitions, concerts and festivals; since 1984 has been performing
her own sound poetry pieces; creates pieces combining language with music, dance
and films in Europe and USA; collaborated with poets (B. Heidsieck, V. Scherstjanoj),
dancers (F. Kwiatkowski, S. Ibanez), musicians (G. Christmann, U. Leimgruber,T.
Mueller). Since 1986 has held exhibitions of her own visual poetry (УcontrescriptsФ);
in 1994 produced a CD УParoleФ (jointly
with G. Christmann, Obermichelbach: Gertraud Scholz Verlag, 1994).
Qzah was written in 1999 and in September of that year it was performed for the first time in Paris in the club УInstants ChaviresФ (Paris). The title of the piece is a word from the old Indian with the meaning Уto cord up someoneТs throat.Ф While reciting the piece, its phonetic material is stressed to the element of explosive labial, dental and guttural sounds. By sustaining this inexorable sequence of phonetic combinations, that don't exist this way in any language, the energy of a certain declamatory violence is set free (corresponding to the meaning of the title). Tongue and ear take as liberties out of this articulation the musical sense of rhythmical textures as well as the semantic message, because the indicated and also imagined during listening vowels lay out a rack of lingual meanings.
У... Thereby Qzah fits into the previous structures and the aim of my sound poetry. I want to open the spoken words to their sounds, to emphasise their musical energy, to call forth the patterns, the heterodyning and the mixtures of spoken language as an autonomous poetry, which Ц on the other hand Ц can transform to dynamics beyond all semantic comprehension. But Ц at least Ц my sound poetry never leaves the building of lingual liability. Even the parts without any obvious wording are still more an unintelligible magic spell than a pure vocal art.
In most of my pieces, which I wrote for the cello and trombone player Guenter Christmann and myself, the musical qualities of the language are confluented and confronted with the vocal expressions and rhetorical gestures of the instrumental music. Composition and concept canalise this process between language and music. Improvised interactions give space to develop a very close, direct, even organic dramaturgy of peculiarities and harmony. The border between music and language is not abolished by this work, which is rather exploring and Ц from time to time Ц crossing it. Language and music are joined in the search of the archetypes of understanding.Ф (Elke Schipper)