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Orpheus Front Cover

Orpheus in the Underpass—by Gabriel Rosenstock and Ross McKessock

£15.00

Product ID: 674 Category: .

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PRICE INCLUDES:

ILLUSTRATED, 64-PAGE BOOK BY ROSENSTOCK AND McKESSOCK

AND A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF ROSS McKESSOCK’S UNDERPASS ALBUM

if you would prefer album + digital book click on the cover below:

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18 September 2015.

Underpass, Castle Street, Oxford. Ross McKessock sits, listening, underneath the road sandwiched between City Council offices and the ongoing construction of a new shopping centre. Passers-by encounter him duetting with wheezing buses, heckling onlookers, and the ambient sounds of Oxford. He improvises musically with his upright piano.

It is part of an ongoing artistic practice that has also seen him searching the city’s Cornmarket Street with 5-foot-wide home-made antennae, revealing the hidden noise of the high street chains’ security systems and cash machines. This electromagnetic induction sonification opens a sonic dialogue with his environment further as he navigates his own territory.

He drags his piano around the city, pulling his audience closer in, encouraging and inviting them to listen. Framing our relationship with this place in a different way, like some sort of clairvoyant, spiritual busker.

10 September 2016.

Glenageary, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. Gabriel Rosenstock composes a series of 40 haiku in Irish and English, in response to an audio recording of McKessock’s underpass event. Inspired by the image or trope of Orpheus in the underworld, Rosenstock composes Orpheus in the Underpass, a rensaku or haiku sequence.

This first edition of an ongoing multimedia collaboration explores the shared European identity bound in the mythology of Orpheus.

Orpheus in the Underpass is illustrated with 10 photographs by Ross McKessock and is accompanied by a digital download of Ross’s Underpass album. 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————————————————————————————

PRICE INCLUDES:

ILLUSTRATED, 64-PAGE BOOK BY ROSENSTOCK AND McKESSOCK

AND A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF ROSS McKESSOCK’S UNDERPASS ALBUM

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1 review for Orpheus in the Underpass—by Gabriel Rosenstock and Ross McKessock

  • Orpheus in the Underpass, by Gabriel Rosenstock.

    One of Gabriel Rosenstock’s strengths is a propensity for tropes that provide unifying themes for entire books of haiku. In this haiku sequence, or rensaku, to use the Japanese term, Rosenstock chose the persona of a down and out busker who, while plying his art in a typical urban pedestrian underpass, identifies ironically with the mythical Orpheus in the underworld. The theme, as Robert Frost expressed it in The Ovenbird, is ‘what to make of a diminished thing,’ and the result is a set of sixty or so ghostly, but lyrical haiku in English and Gaelic (Irish), a language the poet has made it his personal mission to use and revive.

    Make it a point to walk through this underpass, drop a coin or two, and hear such doleful, haunting strains as these:

    alone among voices
    i have lost my language . . .
    my song

    there was a time
    a long time ago . . .
    animals flocked to my lyre

    did not the gods themselves
    give ear to my song . . .
    must get to a pharmacy

    my laughter
    filled the air . . .
    flapping pigeons

    The volume is illustrated with photos by Ross McKessock, the busker-organist-composer on whose activities the book is based, and is published by Onslaught Press, innovative publisher of challenging, edgy haiku and poetry.

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