electronic poetry

One of the things you learn after years of dealing with drug people, is that you can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug.
—  Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas

Duo / Una by Iris Sidikman and Breana Tavaglione

CalArts CEMEC Concert 4 April 2017

Duo / Una by Iris Sidikman and Breana Tavaglione explores how the merging of two individual narratives can combine to express universality.  It delves into themes involving the unique experiences of being a woman in a male dominated field, and the phenomenon of the self in relation to place and being removed from one’s home, suddenly finding oneself in a foreign setting.  Each composer provides written poetry on both topics to be performed live with cello, autoharp, singing, field recordings and other fixed media.  It presents two individual stories that weave and mesh into one - that two people with similar experiences present a duality as well as a singular experience.

“To me, Baudelaire’s poems are of such unique power that they always seem to rise above the level of the personal and sometimes existential nature of their content. In this composition, I have attempted to parallel the transcendental qualities of the poetry through electronic means.

For the words, I used my own voice as the generator of the original sound to be altered or “dehumanized.” this seemed practical since my experiments with the medium were too time consuming to have been easily accomplished with a collaborator.

To modulate my voice, I used a variety of techniques. changes of timbre were achieved with filters. Tape speed changes were used to control pitch. Into the shape of some words, I injected sound waves and white noise, thus changing the quality of their sound but not the flow of their delivery. By adding reyerberation, I varied atmospheres and decreased or increased space illusions. To accent special words or phrases, i used controlled tape delays. Choruses were created by combining slight delays with multiple track recordings.

The musical settings around the voice were made with music concrète materials, a moog synthesizer, other electronic generators and conventional instruments, which were usually altered electronically.

In the translations, there was no attempt to rhyme the verse as in the original french poems. I tried only to keep the language as direct and simple as possible, for I always found that the dominating power of Baudelaire’s ideas ‘were in themselves of electrifying force.”

-Ruth White


scraps of moments
fade into white noise
of black amnesia melting

into the wind with the flutters
of the wings of monarch butter-

the devil’s in the details,
literally. swathed into the

biological fabric of life;

after all, life is only possible
because of element carbon’s
unique properties

and as you may recall from
your 7th grade science class

carbon is composed of:
6 protons
6 neutrons
6 electrons



Communication ways,
business area,
leisure sectors.

Tall buildings,
other long
some flat.

Also there are cylindrical
in various sizes
and varied colors.

A real city,
where some items circulate
while others are stored.

A parallel world,
miniaturized to the extreme
and high performance.

Authentic simulation
a city where life
are micro electric pulses.

Crossing at speeds,
Hard to imagine, spaces
between electronic components.

A special world where
the real and the virtual meet
mix and result.



Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground) - song by Grandaddy.

This is actually something I discovered during my class about electronic poetry, and I quite fell in love with the song, the video and the overall aesthetic and symbolism. We also studied and analysed it in class, that was really interesting.