Boomkat Product Review:
V-O-D venture an unprecedented and comprehensive survey of Larry Wendt’s pioneering text-sound compositions with the mesmerising Recordings 1975-1979. A partner to the two volumes of Henri Chopin’s work also released this week, the Larry Wendt collection zooms in on a tighter period of work which evidently parallels Chopin’s work, yet focusses on more electronic, computer-based process, with some jaw-dropping results that clearly pre-echo the way a lot of electro, techno and rave styles would later use rhythmically-edited vocals.
“Larry Wendt (b. 1946, Napa California) began creating artistic text-sound compositions in San Jose, California in the mid 70’s and was a proponent of the use of "low-tech" and "repurposed" electronics.
He was also among the early designers and users of “hand-built,” microprocessor-based, sound manipulation equipment to use in the production of his recorded work as well as in his on-stage performances.
Active in the audio cassette culture of that time, many of his works were released and distributed on limited edition cassettes which included (from 1975-1989). Allen Strange’s Ocean Records / Composers Cassettes series (US); La Mamelle Audiozine (US), Edition Elytras Baobab series (IT); Jean-Michel Place / Shandar Poésie Sonore Internationale (FR); Richard Truhlars’ Underwhich Editions (CA); Rod Summers’ VEC Audio (NL); Jan Van Thoorns’‚ Slowscan (NL); the Gertraud Scholz Verlag (GER); Tellus (US); and Musicworks (CA). John Giorno's Giorno Poetry Systems, Big Ego (US) being one of the few vinyl anthologies upon which his work appears.
Wendt also had his own hand-made cassette production label, Frog Hollow, which he also used to distribute his works.
Since the Mid 70’s his audio works, have been presented widely in various countries in Europe and the United States, Canada, and Australia. These venues included radio programs, international festivals and colloquia for experimental poetry and music, concert halls, museums, gallery, theater lobbies, and bar performance spaces, and other places which allowed for sound installations, tape presentations, lectures, and his live performances of text-sound compositions.
Wendt is also the author of several articles dedicated to the history and present state of international sound poetry and is also the editor of a CD anthology of international sound poetry entitled, "Vocal Neighborhoods: A Walk through the Post-Sound Poetry Landscape" for Leonardo Music Journal (Volume 3. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, 1993).
Wendt has collaborated on audio works with other artists including Stephen Ruppenthal, Henri Chopin, Bob Cobbing, Clive Fencott, Dominic and Susan Alleluia, and Ernest Robson.
He has also been the initiator and organizer of sound poetry performances and lectures by other artists. Beginning in 1977 as co-organizer (along with Stephen Ruppenthal and Dominic Alleluia) of the “First West Coast International Sound Poetry Festival” held in San Francisco (and which included performances by upcoming Industrial-Legends like Stefan Weisser (Z’ev) and Boyd Rice (Non) participating as sound-poetry-artists) and over the decades also concerts and lectures on sound poetry in the San Jose area which included, Henri Chopin, Bob Cobbing, Clive Fencott, John Giorno, Sten Hanson, Enzo Minarelli, Nicholas Zurbrugg, and others.