INTRO: SWIFT TREE (a multi-media book)
"... because I have read you and sent you many beautiful words
that have not rendered me all the service I expected from them,
I shall need to make of this last writing my rearguard, and say
the best I know, so you shall judge me mercifully.
Because even though you may not love me, these are things
that the eye enjoys seeing, the ears hearing and the memory
from "Love's Bestiary" (1860)
Richard de Fournival
1.- Swift Tree may be defined as a multi-media book, a frame that, using the current technology, transforms the inter disciplinarian work into something to be seen, heard, read and enjoyed by any inter active operator, in his/her own screen. Its merit is to widen, in our midst, the CD Rom language to the domain of creativity, and particularly to poetry, being the first poetry book from a contemporary author, with these characteristics, done in Uruguay. It is a merit as well as a risk, for all that is implied in any initiative to integrate the most ancient forms of creative expression with the utmost modern techniques of creation and production.
2.- Poetry since its origins (if we go back to the Greek epos or the cosmogony hymns of the ancient Oriental and Occidental civilizations) has been designed as Chant; a particular way of blending the sound and image of words created to be recited accompanied by musical instruments like the lire (an element that drove to name the genre as Lyric).
The Renaissance definition of the Lire de braccio, evokes a string instrument of the XV and XVI century "used for polyphonic improvisations" (Webster's Unabridged Dictionary). Such definition is specially adequate to be rendered into this work of imbrication between verbal and musical textures that make the foundation of "Swift Tree".
The poems, previously written, began to mutate harmoniously as the music, composed and executed by Alvaro Pasquet, was played. Once the first takes were registered as improvisations, we begun to shape more clearly the compositions until sound and word became inseparable one from another. Like in the jam session or even the "payada criolla" (an improvised rimed poem sang-said over a simple guitar music), voice and worded sound complemented each other in a synchrony that produces an orphic result.
This combination reaches the boundaries of song, to stop just a step before becoming one; and it keeps on being the said word and not a sang text, which is altogether a different art.
In this line of work "Black juice" and "Fragment Ride" were improvised directly at the recording studio.
3.- From the nine compositions already mixed in the recording studio surges the visual stage, integrating images and graphics that introduce to another expressive level: the CD Rom. This way the technological and programming approach, coordinated by Silvina Rusinek, overflows its field and becomes in itself a creative act.
Through drawings, pictures, videos and brief animation's, created by specialized artists in each field, we are facing a "wholesome poetic spectacle", a small retable or little theater to be appreciated through the screen.
The sinesthesic motivation, the hunger for images, and the diversity of rhythms of the receptor or listener at this end of the century -- and we are positive of the XXI century as well-- obtains here the possibility to connect with the ancestral poetical art.
We also wanted to keep open the possibility that this receptor, this multi-mediatic spectator, with a wide perceptive development, could also become a simple reader, so the program shall allow not only to read the poems on the screen but also to edit the texts and print them. The poems can be printed and read in different languages (Spanish, Portuguese and English) taking care of the growing universality of this format and its broadcasting in the regional and world market.
A lot could be theorized about this project and its applications in the areas of literary theory incorporated the electronic media.
As a conclusion, always temporary, this prologue intends to demonstrate that poetry, through a CD Rom, far from loosing its essence, recovers the polyphony of the signs, materializing through sound and image. It is the word poetically opening and becoming popular, (in a world in which the variety of speeches results highly multi-sensorial due to the current technological means that constantly develop), thus related to the expressive forms of the contemporary and future art.
Tree (the information tree): it reminds of the prodigious work of nature, that through roots and trunk arises from earth to a considerable height, branching away, forming a great organic unity. Thus the poem arising from the words.
On the other hand it reminds of the elaboration of paper paste, that has been for the past six centuries, since the print invented by Johannes Gutenberg (1400-1468), the basic support of writing, and now it begins to be integrated, not necessarily left aside, to new forms of printing and reading, through informatics.
Swift: it reminds of the sound sequence, and mainly, to the rapid transmission peculiar to the electronic media in the informatic world, in which the poetic word will still be present.
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