There is more than a hint of Jazz in this entertaining anthology. Like the best of music, it is written with passion, and it will take you on a delightful journey. The poems offer original insights, homespun philosophy and a good many chuckles along the way.Mike Nock – ONZMPianist and composerJohn Fenton’s poems are luminous charms, reminding us of how crucial our internal is, how fleeting the external and how wondrous our present is.Barney McAllPianist and composerFearlessly, John Fenton waits to hear the real music, which is heartening, reflects this experience in the creation of his own art form, transcending these abstract emotions we happily call ‘language’.Ron SamsomDrummer, composer, Course co-ordinator Auckland University Jazz School
The anthology of John Fenton’s poems titled ‘Dancing Between The Notes‘ is published by Xlibris Publishing NZ. The book is available from the author (recommended for those in New Zealand) as well as being available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Xlibris, Kindle etc. The softcover price is NZ$24.99 and the eBook price is $4.99.
The publication has been a long while in gestation; longer in fact than an Elephant pregnancy. With a push from various musicians and friends, the author got his act together and this volume is the result. Each person’s worldview is coloured by their life experience and in this case, it is the books that the author read, The politics he engaged with, the obscure roads he travelled along and above all the improvised music heard along the way. The book is dedicated to the ‘margin-aliens’ and above all to the musicians.
The author was not university educated and in fact, ran away from school at age 16 after an argument over poetry. He was educated from there on by books and bohemians which is the educational equivalent of being raised by wolves.
His aim when writing these poems was to create a dialogue between improvised music and poetry and to capture fragmentary moments, obscure rhythms and places along life’s edge. The poems are also a conversation with the past as all poems are.
The book was launched on the 28th June 2018, 7:30pm, 4 Poynton Terrace, CBD Auckland at the Audio Foundation, ‘Home of Independent & Adventurous Visions’, http://www.audiofoudation.org.
To order a copy from the author – email: JazzLocal32@gmail.com placing the letters DBTN in the header or P/Msg him.
Most of these poems were written with specific Jazz tunes playing in my head. As I wrote each poem, the lines sang themselves into fragments, time was displaced and reharmonisation occurred. What started as one thing gradually became another. The other poems were written with the songs of place or the rhythms of the road as a guide.
I wrote as a voyeur, watching life from a safe distance. An eaves-dropper, a margin alien. The links between poetry and improvised music are as ancient as language itself and telling stories in new ways is fundamental to human existence – it is not a choice. I hope that I have captured the essence of the musician’s world in this small anthology and revealed a few ‘marginaliens’ found along the way.
*The poet performs his poems with local and international improvising musicians from time to time – the gig notifications appear on his FB pages
John Fenton 2018.
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