Radio Radio. Disco of the Spoken Word.
As part of the' Radio Radio' series of programmes made by artists( some thirty in all) the ding dong Twist club chose to record an introductory half hour to the Disco of the Spoken Word. So it was all up to Bedford for a few hours mucking-about after which Dave the producer was given carte blanche to make a silk purse. Part of the material Dave was left with is featured below. The 'Radio Radio' series is to be launched at the Anthony Wilkinson Gallery in January. The series also features David Bowie with The Ken Ardley Playboys
DISCO OF THE SPOKEN WORD
Hello and welcome to the DSW - a mildly facetious title for what is a serious subject. For those aquainted with the subject, but particularly those new to it , I hope this programme is informative, thought provoking and most of all entertaining.
Later on I will explain how came to be drawn to the genre and I will be interviewing Annie Lennox.There will be live and recorded work and I will touch briefly on how you might start making your own work using the most basic equipment.
So what is it , I hear you say. It is the combination of voices and thereafter the combination of one or more voices with music - and here is the nub of it , those voices are spoken not sung. Singing is a device to use the voice for adding melody to a tune, as an instrument in itself with the words having secondary and often little importance. The spoken word tells a story, mayre with the embellishment of music. Before we go any further lets hear a professional example which I have chosen for its unusual combination of spoken word with the choral. Aemon Andrews Shifting Whispering Sandsı
You would be surprised how often the choir is used to compliment the spoken word, most noticeably in a pseudo-religious context. Hereıs an example by the Rev Bill Lee and Iım going to mix it withpart of the quadruple LP set of Billy Grahamıs evangelical crusade, recorded at Earls Court in 1974, thereby adding the tension of an argument/ Finally I will defuse the situation by rounding of with The Fifty Guitars of Tommy Garrett Go Spanish
Notice how I used a harnonica to segue the isolated passages. This technique will come up again during the DIY lesson . So letıs move on to the use of music proper. Easy listening does not distract from the voice and is usually most acceptable but there are many noticeable exceptions . Letıs listen to a spoken word record from the world of rock. This is Dave Diamond and Inside the Diamond Mine
Lets go next from the drug addled gibberish of Dave Diamond to the purely informative world of George Gillard with his track called Lawns from the LP Garden Talk. Years ago people would think nothing of getting out the Dansette record player and an extension lead to head of down the garden for a bit of personal horticultural tuition from the likes of Percy Thrower or Ted Yule. if they had two Dansettes they may even have enjoyed musical accompaniment . In this instance Iım sticking with the rock theme but with a classical feel. This is the Portsmouth Symphonias version of Uptown Topranking
MONOLOGUE WITH MOOG
One section which I feel I must touch on is poetry with musical accompaniment. Letıs dive straight in at the deep end and listen to a poem by Uri Geller from his Polydor album of that name - this one is called Velvet Space. Letıs have one more example also from an American - if not the American - John Wayne and Why I love America And if that doesnt inspire you to fly into buildings nothing will. Lastly on this subject, a snippet from 10² vinyl The Poems Of Mao Tse Tung -just to show how it shouldnıt be done.
Letıs nip back to basic information and combine it with some DIY. Iım going to play Windmills Of Your Mind on the guitar to accompany Emergency Stop from the album Learning To Drive If you would like to make your own entertainment in this fashion you need nothing more than a transistor radio and a kazoo. Find a news programme and hum your favourite tune over the top or talk over a music programme . Letıs briefly see how that might work.
Well time has run out and there is so much more I wanted to share with you such as William Burroughs reciting his poems, Anthony Quayle reading Edgar Allen Poe and JFK from The Assasination Of a President, Richard Dimbleby recalling the Liberation of France but lets end, penultimately, with a much neglected genre which is the C&W spoken word. Here is Ferlin Husky with The Drunken Driver And thatıs no note to finish on so here is the second race from the Ronco game Racetrack accompanied by the Waikiki Beachboys