Multisensory Experience of a Poem
The making of Bloodie writes an anthem
This is a story of how we progressively transformed a poem into multisensory experiences using ASMR, sound, vocal, visual texture, and abstract patterns.
It started when Rebecca Xu showed me the book The Illumination Project, gifted by Emily Vey Duke at her reading at the Light Work studio. Rebecca suggested creating an animated visual interpretation of the poems.
The book contains illustrations by Shary Boyle and poems by Vey Duke, intertwined and inspired by each other. Rebecca and I each picked three favorites from the book. Among the choices, there was one poem in common, which was Bloodie Write an Anthem.
Bloodie is the name of a young girl who travels across fantastical lands populated by all manner of creatures. The poem we chose situated Bloodie in the time of awakening, subtle and fragile; it almost reminded me of Proust’s madeleine moment which would lead to her self-discovery.
Poetry is a language art; we would present the poem in its original form first, then going through a process of decomposition and reassembling based on linguistic analysis. Our goal is to explore the multisensory methods of creating an enriched expression, not to dictate a specific rendition but to preserve the ambiguity and induce a heightened experience.
In his series of lectures titled Unanswered Questions at Harvard University, Leonard Bernstein drew the comparison in parallel for the creative process of making music and the poetry. Bernstein stated that a line of the poem could be constructed from a more descriptive deep structure using transformational grammar. We attempted various transforms in this piece, such as text to vocal music, alphabets to geometrical forms, and timbre to visual textures.
The structure of this narrative poem is in the ABA form. Section A describes Bloodie’s behavior and Section B is the lyrics of her singing. In audio-visual…