Derek Beaulieu’s a, A Novel erases all the text in Andy Warhol’s 1968 novel, leaving only the punctuation marks, typists’ insertions and onomatopoeic words.
I was invited to response to Beaulieu’s book, published for Jean Boîte Editions (Paris) August 2017.
My response turned into two sound pieces: "p343 dick isn’t that big", and "p343 for Theodor W. Adorno".
The original novel by Andy Warhol is a transcription of everything Ondine (Robert Olivo), one of Warhol’s assistant at The Factory, says during a couple of days in 1968.
Randomly picking a page of the book, page 343, sleeve titled in the original book by Warhol as dick isn’t that big, I chose to use two different methods of composing. The sound in "p343 dick isn’t that big" is solely hand-drawn punctuation marks, from page 343, on the soundtrack of 16mm film.
"p343 for Theodor W. Adorno" is composed with help from Theodor W. Adorno’s essay punctuation marks, where he claims punctuation marks to be “marks of oral delivery.” Because of that, they’re a sort of musical notation: “The comma and the period correspond to the half-cadence and the authentic cadence.” Exclamation points are “like silent cymbal clashes, question marks like musical upbeats.” Colons are like “dominant seventh chords.” This piece is a collaboration with singer Stine Janvin Joh.
The two pieces are included in the collection (drowned out by traffic noise): a, A Novel, created in collaboration with Alan Dunn/cantaudio (Leeds, UK), which composes ten audio responses to the book into this single 60-minute soundtrack.
Other contributors are:
Pascalle Burton - After the After Party, 1979 radio
Peter Jaeger - a A Novel p85
Karri Kokko - Haukotus (Yawn) A
Sylvain Chauveau - a, page 113
Gary Barwin - Typing Warhol Page 1
Prof. Oddfellow - Clockwork Punctuation
Gary Barwin & Arnold McBay - texture: code: sound
Alan Dunn & collaborators - p100/101 featuring Molly Wookey, an elderly lady on whom Dr. Arthur Spencer at Powick Psychiatric Hospital trialed heavy doses of LSD + Weirdomusic Drip, Drip, Drip + The Ramonas Let’s Dance + WOMPS recording with Steve Albini in Chicago, captured by Katie Strang + AD&THEFILMTAXI X + Jean-Philippe Renoult Nosey Noises, a medley of George Clinton’s nostril noise and breathing + Jeff Young Chapter III (ocean) and Chapter IV (ritual) + Noisesurfer Silence and Water.
Artwork by Arnold McBay, design by 67projects, Peter Jaeger track mastered by Ken Brake at Regal Lane Studio, London.