Herald News

The Sound of Poetry

20 Sep 2014 02:10am IST

Report by
Patricia Ann Alvares

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20 Sep 2014 02:10am IST

Report by
Patricia Ann Alvares

Heike Fiedler’s revolutionary poetry adopts the mediums of music, sound, visuals, performance, installation and intervention in public spaces to make an expression of her everyday experiences. Adapting music to her multilingual poetry with the aid of modern software, her performances have been well-received world over

With a mixer, looper and a kaoss pad, Heike Fiedler may closely resemble a DJ, but this revolutionary author-poet is using the mediums of music, sound, visuals and performance to portray the essence of her work. “My poetry is irregular in beat and style. Since I am a musician – I play the flute and the guitar – I use music to carry the momentum of rhythm (rather like a fast beat percussion), in the language. Ultimately, it’s the inner feeling of rhythm that defines my poetry,” avers Heike whose poetry is written in several languages all at once. “I mix languages like French, which I write more often in, with English, German, Russian and Spanish.”

However, Heike shies away from the more untethered ‘sound poet’ category. “Poetry can also be very lyrical for me, but I do not like to limit myself. For me it’s a very open genre. I use a lot of visuals, and mathematic formulae. I like to exploit the words in a language and the sound of it, but my content is classical,” she reiterates.

“When I perform, I bring all these elements to bear. I also perform with electronics with the aid of a computer to project images while I am reading or lyrically singing it. A mixer, looper and kaoss pad help me to manipulate the sounds to achieve the desired effect,” explains Heike who has been performing and collaborating with various artists, writers and musicians worldwide for the last 10 years, even before her books were published. Now on an India literature tour, which commenced in Goa yesterday at the Sunaparanta Centre of Arts, Panjim, she is also scheduled to perform at Pune, Delhi and Jaipur.

Her first poetry book ‘Langues de Meehr’ (2010) is an actual ‘play on words’ as the English translation indicates. The second text book, ‘Se Will Mehr’ (2012) (‘she wants more’), an auto-biographic novel written entirely in French, reflects her need to experiment and innovate further. Although she likes to highlight issues on politics and gender in society, Heike nevertheless maintains she has no conscious preoccupation to go against the system. “My inspirations are drawn from everyday situations, environment and things, but the inner sound is more important.”

With poetic expressions of what she truly feels and experiences, Heike has been able to strike a connection with her audiences wherever she goes.  

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