ReVox is a regular programme of current European sound poetry. It has been held in Barcelona since May 2009 and aims to present the top up-and-coming, personal voices in young sound poetry: poetic ideas that explore the possibilities of contemporary language to the full. In 2010 it is taking place in Barcelona and Madrid.
The name of the cycle comes from the tape recorder used by sound poetry pioneers in the 1950s and 1960s to edit their voice and thus lay the foundations for modern sound poetry. As well as paying tribute to these trailblazing poets, this cycle aims to showcase poetry linked to new media and new forms of writing, recital and communication today. Poetry has already revealed the vast tracts of land outside books; now it is time to champion the everyday nature of writing unshackled by the printed word and its ties to contemporary arts. In this context, ReVox is keen to show how technology can help poetry return to its oral, expressive origins.
The first edition was held on 23 May 2009 as part of Barcelona Poetry Festival to great public acclaim. It brought together poets Anne-James Chaton (France), Jörg Piringer (Austria) and Peru Saizprez (Madrid), who gave three very different recitals based on sound experimentation, digital poetry and poetry performance, respectively.
The second edition, on 3 December 2009, invited three poets whose poetry is closely connected to cutting-edge arts and technology: Aymeric Hainaux’s body and voice (France), Dirk Hülstrunk’s samplers (Germany), and Martín Bakero’s transmental journeys of the word (Chile, resident in Paris).
All the poets who present ReVox in some way explore their voice using sampling, effects or improvisation and their poetry is best seen and heard live, outside the bounds of a book or CD.
ReVox is the only cycle on new forms of expressing poetry and oral expression in general. Just as at the beginnings of sound poetry – only now with new, more effective tools – the goal is to help create a dynamic network of Europe-wide poets and place Barcelona and Madrid firmly and squarely on the map of international poetry exchange.
ReVox is a Swiss audio equipment company set up in 1951. It made its name thanks to the ReVox open-reel tape recorder. These open-reel recorders not only made for easy recording, but also let users adjust the speed, splice the tape and divide it up into different independent tracks they could then mix together. ReVox was the first tape recorder to break out beyond the professional market and enabled people to experiment with sound in a tangible fashion. ReVox therefore marks the start of a process that has made manipulating sound more democratic and which continues apace today with the widespread use of computers.
And for some pioneering 1950s and 1960s poets, ReVox became a new typewriter that blew away the limits of the page and verse and combined audio and superpositions, which had previously had no place in books. Henri Chopin proclaimed the end of paper-based civilisation.
The multitrack ReVox made it possible to multiply the poet’s voice, manipulate it, superpose different recordings and vastly expand the possibilities of the poet’s voice. This new typewriter made poets’ long-held dream of multiplying themselves and making sound finally come true. Voice and repetition. Vox et repetitio. All these interests still drive sound poets with even greater force and purpose today and are precisely what the ReVox cycle seeks to explore.
projectes poètics sense títol [untitled poetry projects] is an independent organisation for contemporary poetry and related areas of fusion. Between 2000 and 2004 it put on PROPOSTA festival at the Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture. It currently runs poetry research activities and sets up networks with other organisations worldwide, as well as helping publish and promote current experimental poetry. It also helps programme Yuxtaposiciones festival at La Casa Encendida in Madrid.