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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Everlasting Life: Spoken Word as Jazz, Performance and Conversation

The last afternoon session I attended Thursday was called "Everlasting Life: Spoken Word as Jazz, Performance and Conversation". It was a duet by Kurtis Lamkin and Sekou Sundiata . Having heard both of them individually earlier in the day, hearing them together was special.
They did provide some thoughts before they got into their performance, and performance it really was. Kurtis played his kora with his poems. Sekou spoke his poems. The intertwining of the two poets and their words (and the music) created such a tapestry of image, the two poems really created a third. In such a way, if they did it again, it would probably be different each time. And thereby really special!
I did not catch the names (or titles) of the poems they did. If they did mention them, I missed that.
Kurtis said: we all have seen a sunset, we all have had our first kiss, our first breakup. Your voice makes it sounds like it is the newest thing.
Kurtis discussed how he came clean (stopped doing drugs). He realized that this state of consciousness, to be open, to be susceptible... discovered that he had the capability to get there anytime he wanted... it was also nice to be paid for it.
Chant creates a magic spell, enables you to forget yourself.
TS Eliot "Poetry communicates before it is understood."
Sekou talked of his 51st Dream State project. As he grew up there was much talk as the 49th state joined the Union, and then again as the 50th state joined the Union. There has been on and off talk about which would be the 51st state; Puerto Rico, Guam, etc. Unfortunately due to recent events, he is coming to believe that the 51st state will be a state of "permanent war". He is fearful of this. Look at the history of empires. You know what happens. They don't last. He hopes that his project will help raise the issue and avoid this state of permanent war. It is scheduled for performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) early in November.
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