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July 28th, 2016
Episode 890 of 949 episodes
Hallucinatory, chaotic and confronting, Allen Ginsberg’s 1955 poemHowlsits withOn the Roadby Jack Kerouac andNaked Lunchby William S. Burroughs at the very centre of the Beat literary canon. With its wild, visceral depictions of sex, drugs and madness, Ginsberg’s poem is perhaps as famous for the obscenity trial that followed its publication as for its disturbing and much-parodied opening lines. Like the other Beat writers, Ginsberg was influenced by jazz music and aimed to capture in his writing something of the rhythms, spontaneity and subversive undercurrents inherent in jazz traditions. Darrin Archer (left) and Maxine Beneba Clarke performing Howl Recorded live at The Toff in Town, Maxine Beneba Clarke readsHowlto modern music by jazz composer Darrin Archer. Archer’s composition, calledDrunken Taxicabs of Absolute Reality: Howl to Music,features a seven-piece jazz band and aims to create a sonic landscape that accompanies and interacts with Ginsberg’s seminal poem. Ginsberg himself describedHowlas a ‘tragic custard-pie of wild phrasing’. Tune in to Archer and Beneba Clarke as they bring that wild phrasing to life, more than 60 years after Ginsberg’s first reading.
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