W. B. Yeats was famously tone-deaf. Despite this he was centrally concerned with the aural properties of poetry, and Maude Gonne describing Yeats in the process of composition said: “Willie is booming and buzzing like a bumblebee … that means he is writing something.”
Yeats considered the performance of Irish poetry an intrinsically aural art, and for a number of decades explored the ‘chanting’ of poetry – alone, in chorus and eventually accompanied a “psaltery” (a zither-like instrument that he had built specifically for that purpose).
William Brooks and Sound-Weave explore those theories and demonstrations in an entertaining afternoon that includes both lecture and performance. Following the introductory talk, Sound-Weave presents Brooks’s half-hour composition, Everlasting Voices, which explores the intersection of Yeat’s ideas with his lifelong fascination with Maud Gonne, drawing from poems, plays, and letters.
Everlasting Voices: William Butler Yeats and the practice of “chanting”
A lecture / performance by William Brooks and Sound-Weave (Paul Roe, clarinets; Nuala Hayes, actor)
October 23rd at 1pm ~ Royal Irish Academy of Music Dublin ~ (Free Admission)