August 23, 2016

Book Launch: Canyons, August 19th

It’s been a busy poetry week (check out my Blog if you don’t know what I’m talking about), but Friday night was open after a martini happy hour so I was off to Troy to a storefront on 2nd Street, Publications Studio, for a performance/reading/book launch for Canyons, a new book by Albany poets, artists, publishers James Belflower & Matthew Klane.

Matthew & James are known for organizing the Yes! reading series at the Albany Center Galleries & for their innovative pairing of readings with music, visual art, even dance. They are both writers of works that stretch & twist the boundaries of what we consider “texts”. Matthew is one of the publishers of flim forum press & both he & James have a number of chapbooks under their belts from various small, experimental presses.

Tonight’s performance included a table full of electronic devices & their attendant cables & wires that James used to produce a sound-scape from recordings of birds, conversations, street sounds as well as the requisite electronic bleeps, pops, screeches & feed-back, while Matthew & James took turns reading sections of the text, & with a multi-layered image projected on the store-front’s wall. It was a decidedly different experience from the book itself, though not divergent.

Canyons is a beautifully produced book (by Patrick Kiley at Publication Studio, Troy, NY) of text, images & text&images inspired/engendered by the explorations of the Grand Canyon by “Wes” Powell in 1869 (& later in 1871/2). I can’t tell how much of the text is sourced in Powell’s writing or the photos (taken for stereoscopes of the time), but Canyons is more of an independent work of art rather than a document of American history. I’m still enjoying my copy.

You can find images from Canyons & more information about the book at James Belflower’s website.  He also indicated that the recording of the sound-scape of the performance would eventually be posted there as well.

No comments: