Sound & Syntax International Festival of Sound Poetry (1978)
Sound & Syntax International Festival of Sound Poetry (1978) - bpNichol, Part 1
From Syntax International Festival of Sound Poetry (1978)

Continuation of documentation of B.P. Nichol performance from Tape 122. Same setting as before. Starts mid-performance with a concrete poem using the word ‘speech’. Nichol introduces a short piece called ‘Untitled,’ another concrete poem, before inviting Steve McCaffery to the stage. Nichol explains that he and McCaffery are part of a four-man sound poetry collective. The two of them perform a longer piece together, reading from sheets at the beginning, with McCaffery occasionally holding the sheet up in front of his face. The concrete poem descends into more guttural vocal sounds, with the poets manipulating their noses and lips, making noises by hammering their hands onto heir mouths, ululating, gargling, making heavy breathing sounds, beating each other on the back and tapping their water glasses. This finishes after about 14 minutes, McCaffery leaves the stage and Nichol introduces his final piece as something to ‘counteract Bob [Cobbing's statement,’ then performs a chant about poetry. At the end Nichol plugs McCaffery’s show the following night, there is a pan back over the applauding audience and Bob Cobbing is seen walking towards the stage. As with Tape 122 the audio is distorted and clips throughout, the camerawork is continuous with some close-ups. The tape finishes after Nichol’s last performance.

Another well known Canadian concrete and sound poet, B.P. Nichol established grOnk, an important concrete poetry magazine in 1967 with Bill Bissett, David UU and others. The author Michael Ondaatje made a short film around B.P. Nichol’s early work entitled Sons of Captain Poetry (1970).

bpNichol in UbuWeb Sound