David Burliuk (1882-1967)

Poem, 1915, 0'55"
Voice – Ernest Peshkov
Recording – Miguel Molina, Audio Laboratory of the UPV Opt. of Sculpture (Valencia, Spain)
Production Date – 2006

David Burliuk, real name David Davidovich Burlyuk (b. Semirotovschina of Kharkov 1882 - d. Long Island, New York, 1967) was a painter, actor, art critic, showman and cubo-futurist poet, and was considered the "Father of Russian Futurism". He was also the organizer of various public demonstrations by the first cubo- futurist group Gilea (1911-12) formed by Vladimir Mayakovsky, Alexei Kruchenykh, Vladimir Burliuk, Benedikt Livshits and himself. Some of these public performances consisted, for example, of painting their faces, wearing top hats and velvet jackets with teaspoons and radishes in their buttonholes. He left Russia at the beginning of 1920 and ended up in the USA where he continued to spread the futurist movement in his manifesto Radio-Style (New York, 1926) - which aimed to be a Radio-Futurism ("To unite all Radio-modernists in the world - is our aim"). He worked with poetry as well as painting, and in this poem creates a whole series of synaesthesic games (he claimed that there were more than five senses) based on what vowel sounds suggested to him, continuing the tradition of Rimbaud's "colour of the vowels", which he knew and appreciated but tackles himselfwith the irony and imagination of an avant-garde artist examining "the family of vowels, laughingly".

The a-sounds are wide and spacious;
The i-sounds are high and adroit;
The u-sounds are like empty pipes;
The o-sounds are like the curve of a hunchback;
The e-sounds are flat, like sandbanks;
Thus I have surveyed the family of vowels, laughingly.

[English Translation by Vladimir Markov]

David Burljuk - Sunset Painter
From Russian Futurists from the GLM Collection (1920-1959)

Russian Futurists from the GLM Collection (1920-1959)
Sound Experiments in The Russian Avant-Garde (1908-1942)