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The poiesis of a whistled poem: Silbo, the whistled language of La Gomera

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Time: 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Venue: Room JG1010, John Galsworthy building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE
Price: free
Speaker(s): Albert Pellicer

The poiesis of a whistled poem: Silbo, the whistled language of La Gomera

Silbo is an ancient whistled language spoken by the inhabitants of La Gomera in the Canary Islands. It was in use by the former indigenous people of the island, the Guanches, to communicate across deep ravines and send messages over and within a distance of 5 kilometres.

This paper presents a poem written in English that is then translated into Spanish and later into Silbo and sent across mountains, eventually to take the shape of a film, ‘Breath of Sense', produced in collaboration with vis-ual artist Helen Petts. Throughout this process, our understanding of sense, sound, noise, timbre, and surface in language is questioned. It par-takes of Mallarmé's view of the ‘book in the air' and Walter Benjamin's approach on communication from language as such and the language of man. The presentation postulates that timbre is not exclusive of music (sound) but it also belongs to poetry (in text and/or oral form) and that the idea of timbre has a theoretical engagement with the latter that has not yet been demonstrated.

Albert Pellicer is a lecturer in Spanish in the Department of Linguistics and Languages at Kingston University. He is currently completing a PhD on oscillations between text and sound: a poetics of timbre.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Marina Lambrou
Email: m.lambrou@kingston.ac.uk

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Directions to Room JG1010, John Galsworthy building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE:

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