“Pottery and Poetry” is a collaboration with Dan Beachy-Quick and Del Harrow, combining the spoken word of poetry with the sonic resonances of pottery.

Pot One, Scared You Cowered...

scared you cowered.../sweet bay tree when.../all that pleased the tongue.../than that one.../and with the.../traveler of open roads.../scarcely I heard.../beloved holy soul.../such is now.../to have craved gentleness.../come before others--beauty.../and clothes...

Translation courtesy of Dan Beachy-Quick, copyright Tupelo

Pot Two, O Dark Dream

o dark Dream/you come in sleep and leave/sweet god, but a wondrous, terrible sorrow/has the force to hold apart/I have hope I won't share/never for the blessed gods--hope/this is not their/plaything, toy/may it bloom into being for me/everything

Translation courtesy of Dan Beachy-Quick, copyright Tupelo

Pot Three, Mica but You I Will Not Suffer

Mica/but you I will not suffer/those most-loved you seized for yourself/from the house of Penthilus/malign creature/a song sweet in the mouth/soft-voiced/singing, clear as nightingale and bitterly/covered in dew

Translation courtesy of Dan Beachy-Quick, copyright Tupelo

Bitterly Covered in Dew

Fragments from each poem and pot.

"Pottery and Poetry" was inspired by a Pottery and Poetry course Dan Beachy-Quick and Del Harrow co-taught at Colorado State University. These pieces combine the sonic components of both mediums-- spoken words of poetry and resonances of clay pots-- and bring them together into a common space. The poems are fragments of Sappho, translated and read by Dan Beachy-Quick, and the pots are made by Del Harrow, digitally designed by crushing an initial form through physics simulations. A poem was recorded being played inside of a pot, then that recording was played back into the pot over and over until the pot resonated to merge the sonic energy of the spoken word with the resonant clay.
"Bitterly Covered in Dew" takes phrases from each poem, phasing and overlapping them to jumble the speech, creating new words and sounds through the confusion. Strangely, by deteriorating the intelligibility of speech, the intelligibility of the pots increased. The clay comes to the forefront of the composition as the pots ring and harmonize with each other in strange and beautiful ways. Digital reverb and slight delay were added to bring the resonances even more into the forefront of the piece.

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