MP Hopkins – A. r

The lyrical subject in A. r is a recorder, or is it? One is never sure whether or not this should be interpreted as anthropomorphism. The recorder could be speaking for the recordist, or is it the other way around? Is the recorder selective, or does the extra-textual world have the final word? The poem reads as an intuitive process circling around these questions without the intention of answering them (the information overload/overlords make it impossible to do so). Instead of a means of passive storage, the recorder is entangled in a maze of urtext and ursound that confuses the fundamental premise of the recording process: what is captured and what is lost. As a result, the recorder appears skeptical about their/its own function, unfolding a profound existential quest in a broken language that reveals itself verbatim.

A. r
 is part of an iterative text-sound project that Hopkins began in 2018. In this ongoing project, an online sentence generator, paraphrasing tool, and speech to text software are used to repeatedly alter a page of text. Each alteration is collated in an expanding document that Hopkins draws from to produce scores for recorded and live audio works, and to inform written works such as A. r.

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