(excerpts on a review of a collaborative performance of poetry and piano)
In this way, one might understand his playing of music to be capable of standing on its own, but choosing (with the same kind of intentionality behind McClure’s conception of poetry) to interact with outside impulses which may inspire a new response or direction. The image here is of a kind of playful rippling which, moment to moment, refuses stagnation but rather continues in an organic fashion to play off the impulses of those elements which interacts with its otherwise purist course. The simultaneous performance of both poetry and music by the two artists seems to express an understanding of both mediums through each one’s individual essence and mode of operation in counter to one another (in other words, seen more clearly and known more fully through contrast to a different form of expression) as well as through one another (for example, in being more aware of a kind of depth of sound in the spoken words and rhythm of poetry or seeing imagery in the intricate melodies of the piano) that would not be experienced in the same way if performed in isolation. I feel that this expression of depth and intensity of experience through the use of both mediums simultaneously is explained by McClure when he said “we’re here to wake people up.” How? By opening their minds to both the complexities of the mediums in their process of expression and to the sensual depths of that which is expressed through them. In the very act of performing alongside one another, with the intention of co-inspiring and guiding one another rhythmically (and through other means of sensual guidance – visually, even physically), the artists present the essences of their art forms as bodies through which to express ideas and meaning.
It is as if the art forms interact with one another in performance much like bodies might exist and interact in nature. There were moments where the music and words seemed to be fully aware of one another and they seemed to linger in a kind of rhythmic embrace. This embrace and awareness was played out either with an intensity of emotion or with a sense of stability and structure which added strength to the moment in the kind of security born from the consistency that comes from any lingering interplay between bodies in nature.
In this way, the listener must be open to the complexity of sensual impulses being presented so as to absorb the whole impact and power of the words and music as they play off of and through one another. The best way that I can explain this mode of experiencing the performance would be to liken it to sitting on a bench on top of a mountain or on a beach in which the landscape extends beyond the greatest horizontal width of one’s visual field. In order to fully consume the experience of seeing this landscape, one must see through a kind of extended periphery, both hazy and general, yet still focused on the subject of what is being seen, aware of its more textural qualities (color, light, line; ect) and complexity of meaning.