Poet Robert Bogan unites visionary poetry with drum and bass on new CD
Q: Jim Morrison of the Doors was a pioneer in incorporating rock & roll with poetry. How did it come together for you, this hybrid of spoken word and drum and bass?
A: You could say that the union of spoken word and music goes back thousands of years, that in fact they had the same origin. The ancient scops and troubadours were the rock stars of their day, wandering from court to court, performing their work to earn a living, or even wealth sometimes and lasting fame.
The practice of reading a poem silently to oneself dates back only to the 4th Century CE, but performance of poetry with music continued. King Henry VIII himself is said to have performed his own sonnets, accompanying himself with a small harp.
Poetry is word music and must be read aloud to be fully appreciated. Until early last century, most poetry was written to meter and composed according to the interplay of sounds (consonance, assonance, rhyme, etc) revealing its origin in music. I was aware of the musical nature of poetry as far back as I can remember so this hybrid of spoken word and rhythm section is a logical step for me.
Q: Who were your most significant inspirations as a poet?
A: William Shakespeare and Robert Frost taught me the magic and mechanics of poetry. Sylvia Plath has been most inspirational. Vergil and Homer showed me how to tell a story through dramatic monologue. Also important have been the feedback and encouragement of friends and fellow poets like Albert Huffstickler, Ed Buffalo and Robert McArthur. Bill Brooks, publisher of Arx, and his staff, were a timely influence in the late 1960s.
Q: When did you start writing poetry? How old were you?
A: I was 17 when my first poem was published in a journal. These days, my preferred mode of publication is the MP3 file.
Q: Rugged Trumpet, your new album - what came first, the music or the lyrics?
A: Listen to Rugged Trumpet as you would a jazz trio - sax, drum and bass. But instead of the saxophone, you hear the voice riffing on the colors and images the words convey. Similar to a jazz selection, I never perform one piece the same way twice. You can't really differentiate the music from the lyrics: They are one and the same.
More Information: http://boganstrictor.com
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