Thursday, April 28, 2011
Louise Landes Levi
Louise Landes Levi
City Of Delirium
Sloow Tapes – CS 40
LLL, NYC, world traveler and poet, years in No. India, Holland /Amsterdam & No. Italy/Arcidoso where she still lives, in stone tower, at least half the year. Publishing numerous books, chaps and broadsides, she also translated Rene Daumal Henri Michaux and great tantric poet, 16th century Mira Bai. 'Her poems sing in the mind and dance through the heart and throat, and arms & legs, w. great clarity and bliss. Louise is Saranswati, goddess of poetry (John Giorno). This tape collects poems from the late sixties to the present. In addition to writing, Louise is also a player (sarangi and flute). In these recordings, the spoken word is set to music drawn from two of her cassettes ‘Kinnari’ and ‘Padma’, recorded in Munich and West Hurley, NY, respectively and produced, in mid and late eighties, by Felix Mensingh. Louise played in the Floating Lotus Magic Opera Compnay (Daniel Moore, Angus Maclise, Terry Riley) and studied Indian music w. Annapurna Devi, Ali Akbar Khan and La Monte Young. 100 copies
Wow: this is a real archival discovery. Shamanist, poetist, street musician, tramp, Louise Landes Levi was a member of the Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company alongside Angus MacLise, Terry Riley and Daniel Moore as well as a student of Indian music with Annapurna Devi, Ali Akbar Khan and La Monte Young. She travelled extensively during the second half of the century, residing in North India, Holland and Northern Italy, where she still spends half the year in a stone tower. She has published numerous chapbooks, broadsides and pamphlets as well as important translations of Henri Michaux, Rene Daumal and the 16th century tantric poet Mira Bai. According to John Giorno, “Her poems sing in the mind and dance through the heart and throat, and arms & legs, w. great clarity and bliss. Louise is Saranswati, goddess of poetry.” This amazing 40 minute cassette compiles the best of her visionary poetry from the mid-60s to the present day accompanied by zoned string drones, sarangi, hand percussion, bells, acoustic ragas and floating flowers in a way that is directly comparable to The Cosmic Couriers’ classic account of their own trip, Gilles Zeitschiff, right down to the starmaiden cover art, documenting a specific moment in the history of 20th century occulture complete w/tales and memories of Angus MacLise’s “anarchist/sacred art” (who she met while busking on the tube in London), Ira Cohen (who the cassette is dedicated to) and the whole dreamweapon diaspora. This is an absolute trip - just thick with atmosphere – and Levi’s poetic recollections succeed in taking you right there, from MacLise’s smoking skull through 1970s Afghanistan and Henri Michaux’s Parisian pad to the sound of The Dream Syndicate and beyond. A major historical excavation, with tracks lifted from two impossibly obscure cassettes – 1985’s Kinnari and 1988’s Padma – originally released by Felix Mensingh in Amsterdam. Congratulations to Sloow Tapes for what might just be the historical find of the year. Edition of only 100 copies. Highly recommended.
Poet, world traveller and ex-member of the Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company alongside Terry Riley and Angus Maclise. This is a spoken word collection of her poems from the late 60s onwards, accompanied by sarangi and flute (Boa Melody Bar)