Birth of Fragile Orgy (an experimental remix of Muriel Rukeyser)

Performed by Victoria Emanuela Pozyczka, JT Garfield on guitar and Jon Walters on cello.

Victoria’s commentary:This was a poetry performance at Alexander Hall for Eastern Michigan’s Muriel Rukeyser Symposium (March 14, 2013). I was fortunate enough to create a sound poetry piece and perform during the music and poetry event. I’m currently taking the wonderful Christine Hume’s “Sound Poetry” graduate course to further my skills as a sound poet. It’s been a fantastic experience and I’m very thankful that Christine provided this opportunity for individuals in the class to perform, aka, my wonderful classmates!

My performance was in two parts:

Sound Work:
A manipulation of Muriel’s actual voice during a very inspiring interview–layered over a collection of sound gathered from the radio waves of the sun–which to me is our origin of birth.
Link to sound piece: soundcloud.com/victoriaemanuela/muriel-rukeyser-performance

Reading and Musical Improve:
I created a collaged piece of Rukeyser’s poems including, Waterlily Fire, Birth, and one of my favorite novels of all time, The Orgy. In light of Rukeyser’s worldly introspection–I focused my piece around the human condition and change.
In other words:

Appreciating the fragility of life as a speck in an incredibly vast universe.
Human beings engage in a profoundly lucid simultaneity within an immense cosmic abyss–our existence as we know it is bewilderingly isolated and vulnerably unparalleled–we are the only (as currently evident) consciously embodied organisms in the universe with a self-referential disposition–making us both incredibly significant and utterly insignificant. Despite the connotative despair of this seemingly abstract dichotomy–humans possess the ability to empower their cosmically inscribed vulnerability by embracing it’s very uncertainty. In her work–Rukeyser often thematized this uncertainty in the form of change and burrowed deep into its impenetrable coercion. This notion of “uncertainty” also became the predominant emphasis in my piece and inspired a holistic approach to a deeply affective improvisational performance.
Essentially, without the understanding of our universal existence beyond the sphere of a socially constructed reality–humans are born to die–nothing more–nothing less–the insignificance of significance–the perversely beautiful human condition. But how does one fully come to terms with such a profound inevitability as they explore the human condition beyond the limitations of self-preservation?
Rukeyser often explored this process as an education–one that teaches us to fall in love with the uncertainty of life–the certainty of uncertainty. If all human beings were to accept the inevitability of change and empower uncertainty–their experiences would become deeply enriched and of greater significance than what’s deemed self-preserved. Together with others–they would experience the human condition on a spectrum without devaluing unity. Together they would struggle, advocate, and transcend as water does in its many forms–finding sacred the very changes they once found unbearable. Through Rukeyser’s journey of investigating many of these aspects of life–especially through the historical and socio-political sphere–I collaged and recontextualized various cherished moments in her work that were evocative of her life in change and synonymous to my own.
The experimental musical accompaniment by JT and Jon was a collaboration that came together much like in the ways that I favor–a beautiful cacophony! I knew quite immediately after finishing the collaging of the poem that I wanted JT and Jon to collaborate with me. They are some of the most spectacular human beings I’ve had the pleasure of meeting–both who deliver constant passion to introspection and what it is to exist in our form. Let me be honest as further–the sounds I’ve heard come out of these two also make my knees bend. This piece is musically experimental because aside from the cues and basic sound/structure of what we rehearsed–both musicians were improvising based on their connection to each other, the poem, and myself. The music was created to destabilize and mimic the uncertainty, flaw, and depths of human experience–which I thought they did a fantastic job portraying.

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