Honest, I swear this is Sequenza21, not the obituaries. But this is otherwise (and unfairly) likely to pass unnoticed in our usual music-blog land: Henri Chopin, one of the pioneering figures in sound poetry, passed away in France on January 3rd.
Born in 1922, he was one of the great explorers of a poetry that favored supremacy of the voice — in all its manifestations — over the “tyranny” of the word. An early adopter of tape recorders and the same electronic studios European composers were at work in, and for many years an active publisher of magazines that disseminated many of the leading voices of the 50’s, 60’s and &70’s, his influence on a whole generation of avant-garde poets and musicians was strong (though largely unheralded over here). Even though officially labeled a poet, Chopin’s work was just as much a kind of music.