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Sounding Poetry

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Sounding Poetry was a student research project conducted by Jensen Oness and Mark Spero as part of Grinnell College’s MAP (Mentored Advanced Project) program, under the mentorship of John Rommereim (Grinnell College, Music).

Sounding Poetry involved the creation of original work incorporating poetry and electronic media. Spero created the texts, and Spero and Oness collaborated in working to combine Spero’s performances of his poetry with electronic materials to create the final products. As they developed their original work, the students read and listened to other artists’ works–from Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and the technique of “Sprechstimme” used in that piece to Trevor Wishart’s On Sonic Art, among other pieces–with the goal of finding modes of digital expression that shared the immediacy of live performance.

One of the students’ pieces, titled “Noisetentacle&wacka,” was submitted to the International Songwriting Competition.

The work of Oness and Spero and Rommereim’s mentoriship were supported by a Digital Bridges award supporting summer projects in Grinnell’s MAP program.