Anne Waldman : Ed Sanders – graduated from NYU with degrees in Greek and Latin. He’s a poet-novelist-musician-inventor of strange electronic instruments. He plays the quilt frame . He was the founding member of The Fugs, a political rock group most of you know from the Sixties, which has been reactivated (very active now), traveling around. He’s written an opera with Steven Taylor entitled Star Peace, which premiered in May in Syracuse and is going to be performed in Oslo in the next weeks. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1985. He’s author of Fame and Love in New York and Tales of Beatnik Glory, Volumes I and II, in addition to three novels. His most recent pamphlet is called Hymn to Maple Syrup and he has a Collected Poems coming out from the Coffee House Press. He has recently recorded an album with the Fugs called Refuse to Be Burnt-Out, a tape entitled "Keeping The Issues Alive", and a record entitled No More Slavery. It’s a great delight and pleasure to welcome him back to Naropa Institute after too long a time, please welcome Ed Sanders. Thank you.
[At approximately seventy-six-and-a-half minutes in, Ed presents some of his equipment] This is called "the talking tie” [sic] – and this is called “the singing quilting frame” [sic] –
I was going to a poetry reading in upstate New York and you drive through the wonderful lake country up by Tupper Lake. I was driving through Tupper Lake and found this nice.. (item) there (I think it’s a quilting-frame, or an embroidery-frame), at a craft shop at Tupper Lake, New York, a few months ago, and I thought I… I went to Radio Shack and got a bunch of transistors and stuff and bought a Yamaha music computer, and, anyway, I hooked it up and it’s...[Ed demonstrates the sound] – and so it’s… I’ve got it tuned to F-sharp major because it’s the chord-system I like to sing to, but it’s just spaced...it’s randomly programmable. With this you can put any series of nine notes in here. I’m sort of learning how to play it now so.. (The problem with having all these instruments is that you have to develop chops for them, so I’m working on it). And you can get all kinds of sounds, like this is a harp (plays harp sound,s trums) and then you get individual.. (plays individual notes) - and then I get, you know, the bells of… the DX7 bells (plays bell sounds) - those of you who have the DX7, and then I like this violin patch that Yamaha makes (plays that) - So I’m going do a section, a hymn from the opera Star Peace, sort of a version of the final hymn – a question of how much male aggression do we want to put into a universe that we barely are beginning to understand. It’s called “Hymn to Star Peace” and it's dedicated to Gary Snyder (“Arise, O Star peace, arise, arise..")
"Well, so I’ll end this part with all these instruments. Anybody.. afterwards, if you want to see them, I can show them to you – a “show-and-tell”. I have many more I couldn’t bring with me from Woodstock."
[Steven sings his first song,"Picture of You", a compendium of visual perception(s)] - (“Hand moving on the Uptown E-train…”) . This is followed (at approximately ninety-three-and-a-half minutes in) by a second song, “Like A Star” - “This is called “Like A Star” and there’s a quote at the bridge, “Vaya la niña divina!”, which means “Go, divine child!”, and it's from a poem by Jose Marti, a Cuban poet, which has all kinds of personal significance) - (”In the cities...").
The third and final song was "written by a friend of mine, a poet in New York, he’s a native of Detroit and this is like what it’s like to grow up in an industrial..what do you call (them)? ...corporate parks" [Audience member enquires, "What’s his name? - ST replies, "Alright..George Moore] - Some silence before the song starts up (at approximately ninety-nine minutes in) - (“Watching the furnaces light up the sky…") - & after the song, more silence]
Bye-bye! - The Naropa All-Stars, folks! -
ES: An encore wasn't in any way predicted, but we'll do..the first poem that William Blake ever wrote, in his first notebook, when he was between about thirteen and fifteen. and it's the four-quatrain - "How sweet I roam'd from field to field…" ("How sweet I rom'd from field to field,/And tasted all the summer's pride.."…"Then stretches out my golden wing/And mocks my loss of liberty") - Thank you..
[Anne Waldman thanks the participants]
- and Ed Sanders, thank you for the beautiful sounds.
AG: And tonight, I think we witnessed some of the combination of Naropa Institute's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and the union of poesy and music, the refinement out of our suffering of an exquisite beauty which transcends our grumpiness and despair.
AW: Thank you William Blake and Sappho.
AG: So, in order to continue, the refinement of beauty out of our lives, we'll have to continue with Naropa Institute, and the communion of poets, and to do that, we'll have to seek for gold, which is the sign of our majesty
AW: Here here!
AG: And so, as Anne, earlier, asked you to participate, to help in sustaining Naropa Institute with your contribution, please do help us to continue for the next century
[Audio for the above may be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty-nine-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at the end of the tape. This tape (also including the first half of this reading) supplements the tape-source cited here)