Poet Jon Woodward and pianist Oni Buchanan perform "Uncanny Valley," on Wednesday October 30th at 7:30pm in the Moody Music Building Recital Hall. This event is co-presented by the UA English Department's Bankhead Visiting Writers Series and Sonic Frontiers. “Uncanny Valley” features a performance of poet Jon Woodward's serial poem with music by composer John Gibson. Gibson provides a concert-length sonic environment for Woodward's poetry that reflects the poem's text in ever-changing ways. Pianist Oni Buchanan and author Jon Woodward perform while audio samples triggered by the reader enmesh the piano and spoken text with echoes of itself.
Oni Buchanan, piano and Jon Woodward, poetry
Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 7:30 PM
UA School of Music - Moody Recital Hall
Uncanny Valley is a poem in 16 sections, meant to be read out loud, with numerous optional repeats throughout the text. These repetitions act as accumulations of sound, maddening as well as hypnotic. Gibson’s music allows the text to float freely--its pacing determined by the pianist and reader. Uncanny Valley explores the phenomenon of "semantic satiation," searching through repeated poetic lines and musical forms for what is most uncanny, and most human, in both language and music.
Video preview: http://youtu.be/P1hyPKvwhfY
Concert pianist Oni Buchanan brings grace and intensity to an incredible range of piano literature, from exceptional music by women composers of the 21st century, to French music ranging from Couperin to Fauré to Ravel to Messiaen, to the works of such established masters as Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Prokofiev, and Bartók. A published poet as well as a pianist, Ms. Buchanan's concert programming is often interdisciplinary in nature, directly engaging the intimate connections between the arts. http://www.arielartists.com/artists/oni-buchanan/
Jon Woodward was born in Wichita, KS, and has lived in Denver and Fort Collins, CO, as well as Boston and Quincy, MA, where he currently resides. His books are Uncanny Valley (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), Rain (Wave Books), and Mister Goodbye Easter Island (Alice James Books). Other recent projects include a 40-foot-long Möbius strip poem, called "Mockingbird," which was typed on adding machine tape; a suite of time-dependent visual poems called "Poems to Stare At;" and an ongoing poem called "Copyleft," to which quatrains are added at the rate of one per day. He works at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, where he specializes in digital imaging and a variety of other curatorial activities.
John Gibson’s works have been performed across the world by groups like London Sinfonietta, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Seattle Symphony, the Music Today Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, and Ekko! He writes sound processing and synthesis software, and has taught composition and computer music at the University of Virginia, Duke University, and the University of Louisville. He is now Assistant Professor of Composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. http://john-gibson.com/
The Bankhead Visiting Writers Series brings emerging as well as internationally renowned writers to the University of Alabama campus to read from their work. Past visiting writers include Charles Simic, Alice McDermott, Kevin Young, Andre Dubus, Robert Pinsky, Alice Walker, Bei Dao, Neil Gaiman, and George Saunders, among others. All readings are made possible by an endowment from the Bankhead Foundation, The Program in Creative Writing, The Department of English, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Books, as well as keepsake broadsides of the authors' work made by UA's Book Arts program, will be available at the readings. Admission is free to all.
Sonic Frontiers is a cutting-edge concert series of innovative and experimental music that enriches the cultural life of West Alabama and invites creative exchange between world-class performers of adventurous music, students, and the greater community through public performances and discussions. All Sonic Frontiers events are free and open to the public. The events are sponsored by the University of Alabama’s New College, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Music, Creative Campus, Honors College, Blount Undergraduate Initiative and Capstone International. For more information call 205.348.9928 or visit: http://sonicfrontiers.ua.edu
Up Next for Sonic Frontiers: Composer and performer Judy Dunaway performs music for balloons on Wednesday November 20th at 7:30pm in the Moody Music Building Recital Hall.