benjamin silva-pereira | alena koukouchev
poems: © 1992/2016 (renewed by) alena koukouchev.
vocoder, prepared acoustic guitar, electronics, samples, field recordings, main vox, clapping, poem adaptations, production, mix and composition by benjamin silva-pereira
recorded @ the naked lizard lounge, london.
synths by antónio duarte amar recorded @ som+, lisbon.
voice on 'gilgamesh's lament' by ricardo v. pereira.
[many very special thanks to the] additional voices: ricardo v. pereira, rachel dix, andré de oliveira, josé f. aguiar, jan-i messina and maya edmundson.
01. beginning [phasing | clapping music] homage 05:03
02. definitions from pragmatica repetitious 05:17
03. interlude: the book of colours (1) 07:28
04. (prelude to the) labyrinth 05:17
05. interlude: coloratura dolorosa 08:16
06. monsieur gosbet thinks 06:46
07. a sketch for the structure of time 08:54
08. the bastard funk of hollywood (a sketch for the structure of time #2) 10:44
09. the inventions of men (freezing) 06:12
10. monsieur gosbet breathes 02:32
11. to dream is to do 17:08
12. gilgamesh's lament 20:16
© 2016 catalogue of wonders (arts); the copyright in these sound recordings is owned by alena koukouchev & benjamin silva-pereira under exclusive license to the catalogue of wonders (arts), london.
released March 7, 2016
Alena Koukouchev was born in 1970 in Spfia and grew up in Athens (1982 to 1987) where her father was a diplomat. She studied Classics at the Oxford University and in 1991 she presented 'The Cave Of Madimi (Annotations For A Possible Labyrinth Of Crete), a poetic, literary and philosophic treatise revolving on the themes of simulacra, automata and decadentism that gain her some fervour and fame amongst the British Academia. 'All I do is related with metamorphosis, going after what is really inside my brain, the pure thoughts, caused by aggravations or loves. The transmuting of those happenings and sentiments and physical acts that are me, myself and I reflected on other people and the environment. I am the Labyrinth. I chose to identify it as the one of Crete, Knossos because it involves the weight of History, Philosophy and Death, Passion and Sexuality. All in the Labyrinth of Knossos is hugely built but there are counterpoints, airy and ancestral myths to resolve.'
In 1992 she was awarded a Deputy Assistant Professor position in Literature at the University of Massachusetts where she composed the 'Pragmatica Repetitious (Drafts For The Labyrinth Of Crete)'. 'I think people say my writing is very difficult because it is not linear, there is no beginning, middle and end. I am very unsure why that is. One cause for that might be that life is unravelling in a non-linear fashion, from Bulgaria to Greece via England to the States. I am a Cyrillic writer. Half my mind still functions with that alphabet and in Bulgarian and Russian languages. The other half is Roman alphabet via the English language. I was stunned by the writing of Joyce and Burroughs, Gyson and Ginsberg, and I feel I am a Beat writer at heart. The amount of editing I do, reduces my tomes by 95% of the original text, drawings and graphics.' [...] 'In 'Pragmatica Repetitious (Drafts for the Labyrinth of Crete)' there was and is a vast amount of text not used, and that I didn't use in the following collections of poetry.' [...] 'Pragmatica', essentially, rounds the moment a woman stares at the kitchen oven and thinks about suicide, very Sylvia Plath, the two kids, two boys are asleep up there in the room; she remembers that she is a carnivore, a predator, Madimi, actually, it is said in the pages, a voluptuous woman that is in a crescendo of sexual urges. Who she loves? An effeminate Greek twenty year old that she found in a Macdonald's one evening. Thus the recreation of her sexual appetites through the 'memory' of the old warrior in the labyrinth. Obviously I didn't say anything like this to anyone since or before the collection was published. Now that it is forgotten I can say it was autobiographical and actually no fiction.'
In 1994 she published a photo diary where she developed the ideas of absolute freedom and society, awarded the 'Ado Lyndsay Prize'. The photographs were exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Contemporary Arts. In 1995 she published a new collection of poems, 'Language Multiverse Apology (the Last Beasts of the Labyrinth of Crete).
In 1996 she presented a show at the Knitting Factory on electronic poetry, where 'multi-poems' sprang from the manipulation of random objects connected to electronic devices the audience had at their disposal creating sounds and images. The result was a volume of poetry and graphic poetry conjoined with a recording of the poems and other performance sound pieces called 'Ancient Enmities (Maps and Designs for the Labyrinth of Crete)'. 'Yes, all my work is one. I do not divide teaching with writing, composing sonic pieces or performing my works and other people's to the other side. All is the same. This comes from recurrent dreams I still have where I am diverse and multiple people that struggles to build what seems like a fortress, a dream that started when I read Herodotus 'The Histories' and that reprises over and over. So I am building it accordingly to my memories of those dreams and with things I investigate. Other dreams unfurl and all my life becomes a work, art, myself exposed.'
All the poetry collections published in the United Kingdom and the United States of America were compiled on the volume 'Decadent Strata (Essays For The Labyrinth of Crete)'.
Koukouchev wrote: 'an octobering flame of motionless sorrow, the words recur often in plaintive absurd and unfolds. They are opponents of rationality as meaning seldom describes accurately an emotion or a feeling. Thus the healing nature of poetry. Poetry often is more than an account of embellished moments, it is the best of its composers a treatise of philosophy, a world of sudden realisations and truths.' Her works are often considered abstract and weeded with sadness, but she defends herself saying that a work is like the process of baking bread; it takes time for the dough to be ready... and be baked. She says: 'we always find ourselves surrounded with too much information, to choose not to be informed is the real revolution of our days: to build defences against words are huge and urgent matters. Words are simulacra of ideas and knowledge; as well all devices used by the media. Music seems to be the most pure medium against disinformation and saturation. You can choose what the music gives to you. The same should be applied to poetry. Automatic writing belongs to the hemisphere of choices and the latitude of rationality. Automatic writing gives you an imperfect world more accurate of one's world than the words of an articulate and organised mind. Too much information is too little reality.' She proclaims a cosmic rescue for poetry. A poet must dare, a poet shall laugh, a poet shall rise and proclaim a new joy of hope, a generous heart.
As you set out on the way to Ithaca hope that the road is a long one,
filled with adventures, filled with discoveries.
The Laestrygonians and the Cyclopes,
Poseidon in his anger: do not fear them.
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