Guest Post: Billy Cancel on “You Beat All Round the Bush for Electronic Crop”

YBARTBFEC is a folkloric post-industrial sonic compound–lots of jumps between voice, tone & time-frames–so it’s well suited to experiment with & re-present as a multimedia piece.

Before undertaking the multimedia work the poem itself had already been learnt & performed at readings; this meant I was very familiar with the sounds & scansion of the work & I had already expanded & implemented ideas regarding the poem’s performance.

I use a Zoom digital recorder & try to find interesting places to record outside. This piece was recorded at Calvary Cemetery in Queens, which is extremely spacious and windy with the Brooklyn Queens Expressway rumbling away close by.

I then frazzle the recording with an archaic sound editing program [Fostex Audioclean]. I prefer not to have a defined idea as to how I will manipulate the sounds at first, but riff & tweak the recording often stretching or splicing parts & changing pitches.

For the visuals I google each line of the poem then scoop any interesting resultant images which I then fry into near-abstraction using Photoshop or Lunapic then put together into sequences. This process leaves much too chance so often brings up interesting surprises.

I use this noise-poem vid format to present my work as the visible words & images allow me to be more flexible with the sonics of the piece (for example dipping in & out of sound poetry or noise) while visibly maintaining the poem’s coherent path.