78 Horizons

12KSE #159. “78 HORIZONS.”
Sound Library Series, Volume 52.
8 new poems by A.J. Kaufmann & Bill Shute, inspired by 78 rpm records.

A.J. suggested this concept last fall, as we are both devotees of music from the 78 rpm era. We each chose 4 musical performances from 78 rpm records dating from 1917-1950, listened to them over and over until we internalized them, and then produced the poems in this chapbook. This is not a “collaboration” like Blues for Duffy Power or Twombly’s Siracusa; think of it as a “joint exhibition,” like one of the Next Exit books. My pieces were based on recordings by Jack Dieval/James Moody/Annie Ross, Bill Coleman & Stephane Grapelli, Jean Tranchant w/ the Willie Lewis Orchestra, and (so it would not be all Euro-jazz) the lachrymose classic “Cottage For Sale,” as performed by its composer, Willard Robison in 1930 (most will know the Jack Teagarden and/or Frank Sinatra versions of this gem). And as a teaser for my March chapbook LAMENT FOR THE LIVING: CHET BAKER’S FINAL SESSION, I even worked a Chet Baker reference into one of the poems (although Chet’s music was not used in this project). This was a fun project to do w/ A.J. and a welcome break from the heavier, long-form pieces we have been collaborating on.

I performed two of these poems in Austin last week at the reading w/ Michael Aaron Casares, and they seemed to go over well. Hope they will also work well on the page!

Broken relationships, broken promises, broken people, broken dreams, broken records, broken windows, broken through to the other side.

Bill Shute, January 14, 2010.