Here we go again.....anyone called Brion,not Brian,or Bryan, is certainly posh and reeks of privilege. With a brief bit of research these suspicions were confirmed.Educated at a Fancy public school near Bath (UK),and by the age of 18 he was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. Hangin out with the likes of Max Ernst's missus, Salvador Dali and Picasso in the "Surrealists Group", from which he was inexplicably expelled by André Breton,as happened frequently were i came from,all at the age of 19. Needless to say,if you were of modest means it would be extremely doubtful you would be anywhere near André Breton, never mind being expelled from the community centre for crimes against Surrealism. I, for one,was never sent home from the local underclass abstract expressionism club and ,thankfully,never had to explain to my mum that Mark Rothko had me expelled for not being abstract or expressive enough,and could I invite Willem de Kooning over for beans on toast later?
The only art happening where I came from, was the odd swastika sprayed on a wall over the admitedly abstract phrase of "Pakis Out"*. Nowadays those very same 'Pakis' are spraying stuff like 'Brexit Now' to get rid of the Poles. Epitomised by the new tory Home Secretary, a child of ugandan asians,who is determined to shut the door on any more poor immigrants...like her parents were? Fucking Insane!
I don't wanna go through Gysin's life story, but lets just say, he never seemed to need a job,and drifted effortlessly around the globe meeting up with famous artist and bohemian types of all statures.
Most famed for the re-invention of the Dada-ist 'cut-up Technique, which was in fact nothing new,and gave it to William Burroughs to mess around with.Burroughs explained that Gysin was "the only man that I've ever respected in my life. I've admired people, I've liked them, but he's the only man I've ever respected."...slightly arrogant?
I suspect that Burroughs was the victim of that intellectual arrogance that all Public School boys,and upper class twits in England get drip fed at birth,even if they know fuck-all,which generally is the case.I'd say Bill respected Gysin because he was intellectually intimidated by those insideous British upper-class vibes,as most Americans are.
As far as I can see Gysin was just more inventive in his stealing from the past,and could explain it all away as his own doing, without actually saying so.
However These writings and sound experiments were a considerable influence on the Industrial Music,and culture of the late seventies......so says I.
Gysin enjoyed messing with language ,what makes a word a word,and how easily words change their meaning,or effect, by just rearranging a few letters or their speed.One short phrase could be transformed into a new language......or,as is the case in most of these pieces,into complete stuff of nonsense.
The same could be done with sounds,as in the Pistol Poems,with vari-speeded recordings of a gunshot,which he made for the BBC. A resurrection of another Dada-ist idea,'The Sound Poem'
This CD has all of Gysin's most influential recorded moments collected in one place.
Best listened to with one of Gysin's other claims to fame, he and Ian Sommerville's "Dream Machine",which was probably just the work of Sommerville,and Gysin named it afterwards?:
Build your very own Brion Gysin Dream Machine HERE!
*Paki is a derogatory term used generally for anyone from the asian subcontinent,and is even used for Arabic and semetic people by the ignorant.The equivalent of the 'N' word but for asians. I've even heard it used by Indians as an insult to white people, as in "White Paki"......its crazy ol' world out there innit?
1 I've Come To Free The Words 1:16
2 Vocal Cut-Up 6:14
3 Where's That Word 1:58
4 Thoughts On The BBC 2:50
5 I Am That I Am 4:35
6 Pistol Poem 1:29
7 Pistol Poem - Part 2 0:39
8 Recalling All Active Agents 1:25
9 Thoughts On Censorship 1:53
10 No Poets Don't Own Words 1:01
11 Thoughts On Jean Genet 8:55
12 Readings At The October Gallery 5:36
13 Kick That Habit Man 1:08
14 Junk Is No Good Baby 2:04
15 Thoughts On Surrealists 5:27
16 Thoughts On Modern Art 2:29
17 Thoughts On The Dream Machine 4:19
18 Thoughts On The Value Of Art 2:29
19 Sound Poem 1:46
20 Duet 0:41
21 In The Beginning Was The Word 1:49
22 I Am This. . . 2:02