Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

January 31, 2008

SLASH & BURN (KSE #86) now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:33 pm

The first of our three (four, if you count the reprint of DREAM SCENE) chapbooks for February 2008 is now available, my own SLASH & BURN (Sound Library Series, Volume 28). The musical inspiration this time around is Scott Walker’s instrumental score for the dance piece “and who shall go to the ball? and what shall go to the ball?,” released on the 4AD label in the UK last fall. It’s a jagged, invigorating score. Both Walker’s and the choreographer’s notes emphasize the music’s evocation of cuts, the way that society and the world slash both the body and the consciousness. I too tried to capture that conflict in this 5-part piece.

slash and burn

When I visited the Pittsburgh area in early January, the weather was below freezing even during the day and snow fell most of the time. As someone who lives in San Antonio, which has a similar latitude to Cairo and Kuwait City, this was a constant irritant to me, something I was always conscious of. I felt it was the perfect symbol of the theme mentioned above, so I started there, imagining a scene set in greater Pittsburgh (a composite formed from various neighborhoods which I visited, including the one where Brad Kohler lives). The setting is right before sunrise, as workers get ready to brave the storm and catch the bus and face another day. As with most of my pieces, this is a collage of images and sensations, intended to capture the rugged and abrasive beauty of Pittsburgh winter; the way we workers face and take on the challenge of each work day; the manner in which the Army and the Border Patrol dangle financial incentives among economically distressed populations; the way we often project our past experiences onto daily reality instead of dealing with it in a fresh and spontaneous manner; and the possibility of spiritual growth and development while “in the trenches” of daily work and life. SLASH & BURN is also intended as a “core sample” of 2008 America. Those who enjoyed my SAN ANTONIO GOOD FRIDAY and NORWICH UNVEILED chapbooks should also appreciate this one. Only 38 copies of this, so act fast. SLASH & BURN will be available from Volcanic Tongue in Glasgow later in February. But you can get it now for $4 postpaid in the US or $5 postpaid elsewhere directly from KSE. Check the “available KSE chapbooks” page to the right for ordering information.

Later in February we will present the newest NEXT EXIT volume, featuring K. M. Dersley and Adrian Manning, AND a new chapbook of vintage never-before-published poems from Doug Draime. Stay tuned…

1 Comment »

  1. I admire the way Bill Shute combines the esthetic, his successive striking renderings of the visible world, with the ethical, or the political, his sympathetic awareness of the lives and struggles of hardworking everyday people. When I read his work–and the work of the poets he publishes–I feel I don’t have to forget half of what I know in order to appreciate what I’m reading. As we say down here in Texas, it’s a blessing.

    Comment by Steve Badrich — February 4, 2008 @ 6:42 pm | Reply

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