Pistol Poem

Brion Gysin. 1960 BBC broadcast
Sound poem
A series of pistol shots taken at varying distances, originally broadcast as part of “The Permutated Poems of Brion Gysin” BBC radio programme.

Recorded by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, produced by Douglas Cleverdon.

David Pocknee: “From the archival evidence, [The Permutated Poems of Brion Gysin] (most notably the tape C1400/5 held in the British Library) it seems that the programme featured the poems in the following order:

Side 1a (3:46): Pistol Poem / I’ve Come TO Free The Words / Pistol Poem (interlude) / No Poets Don’t Own Words

Side 1b (5:01): Calling All Re active Agents / Pistol Poem (interlude) / Junk Is No Good Baby (Exterminator Version) / Pistol Poem (interlude) / Kick That Habit Man (Exterminator version) / Pistol Poem (interlude)

Side 1c (3:07): I AM THAT I AM”

Brion Gysin talking to Terry Wilson: “I got hold of the BBC facilities for the series of sound poems I did with them in 1960, technically still the best, naturally. I had originally been led to believe that I would have a week and it turned out to be only three days that we had, so in a very hurried way at the end I started cutting up a spoken text-I think the illustration of how the Cut-ups work, “Cut-ups Self Explained”-and put it several times through their electronic equipment, and arrived at brand new words that had never been said, by me or by anybody necessarily, onto the tape. William had pushed things that far through the typewriter. I pushed them that far through the tapeworld. But the experiment was withdrawn very quickly there, I mean, it was . . . time was up and they were made rather nervous by it, they were quite shocked by the results that were coming back out of the speakers and were only too glad to bring the experiment to an end.”

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