Thursday, October 25, 2012

Anna Le, Phil Manzanera, Nth Entities

Poetry recitation with music, if done right, serves to widen the impact of both elements. The music illustrates the poetry, the recitation turns the music into more literal sound painting than it otherwise might be on its own. Anna Le and Phil Manzanera's collaboration Nth Entities (Expression EXPCD30) is like that. Each element expands and fills out its counterpart.

Anna Le writes a poetry of hip realism, of her take on the now in which we exist, hip-hopless word spinning that does not build castles of exotic syntactic imagery as much as it strips away paint and veneer to present a more stark image of her-viewing-world. Phil Manzanera, best known as lead guitarist with Roxy Music, weaves an evocative web of musical soundscapes, contemporary and sensual, nearly psychedelic in ways that our electric music has evolved into when it is "serious" about itself, orchestral in scope.

The poetry-music paying tribute to Hendrix is the most palpably pleasing. But it all resonates as something far beyond our daily usual music dosage of palatable pablum.

Is Anna Le a poet for the ages? I don't know. Is Phil Manzanera's musical concoction destined to be shot into outer space as evidence to would-be roving aliens that we humans are like this and that? I don't know. All that doesn't really matter right now. All I know is that the poetry-musical collaboration and the poetry-image booklet it is packaged in is a prime creative act of our times, interesting, compelling, provocative, captivating.

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