Festina Lente - fun was had with Zuzana Husarova in Paris

An awesome performance I had in Paris with the amazing Zuzana Husarova. A whole new section of my website dedicated to Festina Lente now, as it was the 2nd year in a run I performed. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/festinalente

Festina Lente 2015 - March 7th : Societe de Curiosities 

"Festina Lente is an extraordinary sound poetry event series and festival curated by Martin Bakero in Paris. I've had the pleasure to perform there in both 2014 & 2015, and it has really been a pivotal space for me to develop my performance art & sound poetry, and to meet, and collaborate with, a real community of European sound poets, from Maja Jantar to Julien d'Abridgeon.  

For 2015, Festina Lente was held at the Societe de Curiosities on the Rue de Cligancourt, and I had the opportunity to finally perform as a duo with Zuzana Husarova. The result was one of my favourite works, entitled Ibunka, it was a fusion of sound poetry, improvised language and anti-dance. 

Zuzana is about what I am about. She is forward thinking, discerning, works incredibly hard to develop expertise while always being hungry to learn and grow, and go outside of her comfort zone. Moreover she is funny and humble and a joy to work with. We developed Ibunka conceptually and then, in person, reconstructed it completely, to draw upon my background in grappling martial arts in order to facilitate a physicality in performance that was never violent, never overbearing or threatening, or overemphasising my maleness over her femininity. This is so so hard to achieve, and I believe we did achieve it, creating something playful, playfighting, energetic but still serious and considered. Her technical brilliance underpinned the work, for its first act and I'm sure it'll be the first of many times we work together, in our collective TRYIE, hopefully all over Europe.

I spent a whole week in Paris around this work, in a city I always find inspiration in but am not directly inspired by. It's scene seems ossified to me, hard to penetrate and institutionally divided, like elements of the city itself. It drowns in its own history, theory, beauty and poise. A heartbeat for my personal understanding of the city over these last two visits has been Martin Bakero, the Chilean sound poetry pioneer who curates Festina Lente, the most interesting thing I've been a part of in Paris by some way." 

my performance in a Parisienne circus for Festina Lente

I've read in Paris before, but I read, and I hope, relatively speaking, those days are temporarily coming to a close. Now is a time to read in public far less, and perform more. So this was an invitation I was grateful to receive from the amazing and intense Chilean poet Martin Bakero, who lives in Paris and curates the Festina Lente in the Circus Electrique, part of the Pantheon of Poets festival in the city. This was all sound poets and sonic artists, and as I've felt with the art writers of my generation in London who've influenced me so much, and are now friends (Pat Coyle, Holly Pester, Hannah Silva etc) this is a real community in Europe. After meeting Jorg Piringer and Heike Feidler last year, here I got to connect to Julien d'abrigeon and the wonderful Maja Jantar, whose performance was spellbinding and I learnt masses from just by watching. It's a privilege to be part of that community, if even peripherally, it is defined by exciting work, by real exploration and intensity and I feel very welcome by the people who seem to be defining it.

My performance piece, mort & homme, was an attempt to utilise mantra like repetition through different vocal ranges, beginning with something like murky song into ulluation and finishing with doom. That was to be contrasted against electronic chinese music, and then a conceptual element Ive wanted to do for awhile, book sawing. I don't really care if the result is a success, but it was a satisfying experience, as I had to go out of my comfort zone, and that's all I want to do at the moment. The piece was new, an experiment and a departure with the only goal that it didn't seem that way. I'm not interested in thinking about the quality of the work, just the experience of making it. I had a wonderful time. Video below. I also managed to snag some videos of some of the other amazing performances that made up the day, one of a series now set up in Paris over the next few years.
Maja Jantar & Martin Bakero https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rdM9zGA2hY

a poem in the new Belleville Park Pages

http://www.bellevilleparkpages.com/ One of the neatest, sharpest, most decisive publishing projects I've come across in a long time, The Belleville Park pages, coming out of Paris, has a really distinct identity and in its first year of existence, found its way into some amazing stockists. http://www.bellevilleparkpages.com/#stockists What they're trying to do, a ground up, community model of younger, newer poets, very much open to new people and new work, is admirable, and well executed. Im pleased to be in the last issue of 2013, in the 13th incarnation, with a single poem from Enthusiasm, called Letters to friends. 

Page 13
Mid December
Christmas Gift: Nina Mazodier
Writers: Anita Olivia Koester, Z.W.T. Evans, James Coghill, Matt Appleby, Rufo Quintavalle, Laura Perrem, Zelda Chappel, SJ Fowler, T. Isaac, G