Feb 20, 2012
[ Feb 10 12 ]
“I invite everyone in this room to sing with me from texts found in this room for 40 minutes—which sounds insane, but—I’d like to give you some context…”
In one of the more unusual and exhilarating experiences of, I think, my life, I was in a roomful of people able and encouraged to “sing” whatever we felt like “singing” at whatever volume we wanted for 40 straight minutes. Everyone
else was doing it. Watch the first video and the first 9:00 of the second to learn more, click here and then finish the second video. Or just watch the videos (but the link has full text of the explanation, which you might want to reference).
We’re talking about singing the Wall Street Journal, as a group, in public; picking up a book at random and repeating the words of an arbitrary line as though your life depended on them; chanting Can You Hear Me Now on the Civic Center BART platform mid-protest; introducing yourself to every person in the room with the same sentence and the same goofy smile, and so on: anything you can imagine and feel like doing.
There were maybe 30 people in The Reading Room of Berkeley Art Museum to watch/hear Tom Comitta‘s poetry. Instead is the wrong word. What we got was… 30 people in a small room transforming themselves and each other for 40 minutes. It’s called Guerilla Opera and it happens… you should try to be a part of one.
Above is the entire event, beginning with an introduction by David Brazil [more here and here] (who co-curates this Re@ds series with Suzanne Stein) and some explanation by Tom Comitta. Click “Play” to watch all, “Next” to skip forward, or the small “Insert” screen (to the right of the video time) to see thumbnails and watch them directly.
[ Resources ]
- Again, here’s a link to the mini-essay Tom reads to introduce some of the concepts of Guerilla Opera. More on this later — have a look first!
- I’m meeting up to talk with Tom later this week. If you have anything you’d like me to ask him, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind answering…
- First, you might want to check out his other projects: soUNDtext and calmaplombprombombbalm.
- The next reading in this series, featuring Monica Peck, is this Friday, Feb 24 [here for a full list]