From the Archives / On Sounding Things Out

For this month’s “From the Archives,” we combed through our past issues for work that speaks to the different ways that sound—its absence, its presence, its musicality—has inspired artists from different backgrounds and walks of life. First, we stop by Issue 1.14 (1978) and visit Daniel Powers‘s “Dancer,” in which three black-and-white photographs capture the titular figure moving to upbeat music, their limbs and hair ablur. Next, we share work from Issue 1.31: Sound Poetry (1984), where we find Gerry Shikitani‘s erudite meditation on the use of silence in art, “THINKS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT.” Moving forward two decades to Issue 2.49 (Spring 2006), we encounter Phinder Dulai‘s “MourningA Series of Ghazals,” in which traditionally sung couplets are used to unpack the relationship between death and warfare. Finally, Issue 3.9 (Fall 2009), which paid tribute to poet and author Robin Blaser, features Lloyd Burritt‘s sheet music for “Suddenly,” which was written as accompaniment to Blaser’s poem of the same name.

Daniel Powers / “Dancer”

From Issue 1.14 (1978)

It’s part of me that you see on the images I capture. Do you see what I mean? When I’ve finished a session I’m always exhausted. That’s because I’ve taken on the role of whatever I’m shooting. When is the right time, I make an exposure and attempt to capture that feeling I’m experiencing. It’s a great buzz. I wish I could explain it better. My intent with Dancer was to make you feel as if you were in the studio with me. I was attempting to capture the feeling of movement and motion as well as the upbeat tempo of the music the dancer was moving to. The only manipulation with these images is the manner in which I cropped them. The hair seemed to be the epicentre of move­ment. With every motion it would change the appearance of the dancer—with every beat a different movement, a different feeling, almost a different person. That is what I saw.

—Daniel Powers, from an interview with Charles van den Ouden


From Issue 1.31: Sound Poetry (1984)

Phinder Dulai / Mourning—A Series of Ghazals

From Issue 2.49 (Spring 2006)

facing east of station, the bustle of product placed tragedy
water fronted, churning metal locks on rails, benign every days without

the flat palm an exasperated call to daily prayer
echoes ricochet from a prayer mat never weaved to be without

Lloyd Burritt and Robin Blaser / “Suddenly”

From Issue 3.9 (Fall 2009)

Our 50th Anniversary “From the Archives” series is headed by Associate Editor Jastej Luddu and supported by a BC Arts Council Early Career Development Grant.

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