In the early beginning of the nineties I started writing sound poems, but it was not before 2000 I also performed them. Actually I first performed the sound poetry of others before performing my own sound poems. Together with Lars-Emil Woetmann & Ole Lillelund I made an arrangement with sound poems only – in Kulkafén, Copenhagen, and together we performed Fisches Nachtgesang (from Christian Morgenstern). Then short after I also got the courage to perform my own sound poems.
The earliest written poem on rrrr is Emmentaler, which I wrote in 1995 on a journey through Schweiz – by simply writing down the names on the railway stations we were passing through.
Before 1999 most of my inspiration came from within my own inner world. But after that time it has become more usual, that I work with different kind of techniques to reach the level of inspiration or imagination. And then literature is my greatest inspiration – and the inspiration from inner and outer nature has come to play just a smaller role.
The poems on rrrr is not directly a homage to Kurt Schwitters, though I like his Ursonate very much. Actually none of the poems on the record is directly inspired by any of Kurt Schwitters poems. But two poems is inspired by Christian Morgenstern. One by Velimir Khlebnikov. Two by the Danish poet Johannes Weltzer. Four by the Danish poet Palle Jessen. And one is inspired by my colleague Lars-Emil Woetmann.
The poem Molotow f.i. came to my mouth while playing with my children. Cockpit frontale came to me while I were stuck in the railway in Roskilde, were a suicidal accident just had happened. And the poem Alberti Lex I made as a cut-up from the Danish newspaper Information.
The first part on side A: JEG ÆDER MIT EGET MORDERSIND is written as mixed-cut-ups from the writing of Gertrude Stein and Olga Ravn.
The part DORF NE KLASK is homage to the Danish writer Poul Borum, and the poems in the beginning of this part is made by manipulating some of the poems Borum wrote. The title DORF NE KLASK is a sentence, he once wrote in a letter to me.
So as you can see, I have a variation of ways to write sound poems. The whole idea of the section called DEMOKRATISK ALFABET f.i. is about equality. Here I’ve caught inspiration from the twelve-tone composers. When using the method under the rule, that a letter in a row of twelve only happens once, I however have to difference between consonants and vowels – because there are not twelve vowels in the Danish alphabet. The vowels is the “soul” of the language, they are the Dionysian element coming from inside humanity. The consonants is the Apollonian forming element coming from outside. The consonants are cosmic. So when Burroughs says “Language is a virus from outer space” he is actually right what goes for the consonants.
One of the other ways – is by entering a system I’ve made. It’s about changing the letters – like when you musically play a tone – and then play the tone a fifth higher. I put the alphabet like this – the consonants: V-W; R; H; F; T-D; B-P; C-CH; S-SCH-X-Z; K-G; L; M; N. And the vowels: U-O-A-Ø-E-Y-I-U. Then when I have a poem, I would like to tune – I take each consonant letter in the poem and ‘play’ them a fifth higher. I now imagine this consonant row as taking actually place in a fifth circle (kvintcirkel). And I see this circle as an outside world with the vowels inside – sometimes as a row by its own – and other times the vowels are under or behind the consonants. U and E behind V; A behind R and Ch; O behind H, K and N; Ø and Ei behind F; Y behind T and D; I behind B and P; A behind C and Ch; E behind S, Sch, X and Z; U behind L and M.
Then I do like the Hebrews – I put vowels in between where they seem missing. And then a sentence like WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCES WHEN MAKING SOUND POEMS can become:
HADØCH UL JAFO KOFYCHY SCHÄFALL HODYR WØMURM LAROCH SAYWYL.
Seeing the vowels uoaøeyiu like a C major scale – I’ve got from my training with eurythmy. But afterwards I’ve found the method with changing letters already (of course already) is used in the TALMUD, the holy bible. Many of the sentences (that actually was sung) is made by changing letters. And in the bible the prescription is the alphabet above the backward alphabet. Using this method would make the word MORGUNBLAĐ = KÝHSÉJÞLÖV.
[As you may mark the letter ‘L’ in the Icelandic language will stay unchanged whole way through].
When I came to Denmark four years old, my parents stopped speaking Icelandic to me. In a month I then learned to speak and so wie so understand Danish. And I more or less forgot to speak Icelandic. So now my ability to speak Icelandic is like a four or five year old child. But anyway I have used this in some of my sound poems.
rrrr Is my first and until now only record. But I have written some poems, which have been used by a Danish pop-band called Zenith on the record TORDENSKJOLDS NYE SOLDATER. The poems were hence just normal lyric.
When I was asked to make the rrrr-record, the editor of Weltscherz said, he wanted to call the record ‘R’. But as I remember, there had just been made a Danish film called ‘R’. And I didn’t want the album to be called so. Then in one mail I signed just ‘rrrr – som fire pistoler der peger mod gulvet’. So in my mind the album is named with the under-standing line SOM FIRE PISTOLER DER PEGER MOD GULVET. Which also is the title of the fourth section on the album. Then, as you see, rrrr is not directly a handicapped paraphrase on Schwitters rrrrr in Ursonate.
But then later on I found that there actually is a film called Rrrr – a terrible slaughter-house-movie about some primitive human beings with grouchy language. But somehow that reference too fits as well as the Schwitters reference.
[From an interview arranged by the icelandic newspaper
[From an interview arranged by the icelandic newspaperMORGUNBLAĐ]