|Gordon Ball reading from "East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg"|
The GINSBERG : GREEN night at the Sprinkler Factory in Worcester, Massachusetts on April 7, 2017 brought together Beat fans, poets, artists, writers, publishers, and a melange of interested and curious citizens to celebrate and acknowledge Allen Ginsberg's longstanding contributions to the environmental movement and the movement to legalize marijuana.
Headlining the evening were Ann Charters and Gordon Ball, both groundbreaking Beat scholars; unfortunately, at the last minute Ann Charters was unable to participate. Nicole DiCello, artist, activist and poet read in Ann's stead.
Of note were the virtuoso soundscapes of Jordan Hoffman and Steve Benson, two audio alchemists with alarming vision and the ability to create other worldly sound installations; Patrick Warner's reading of a Ginsbergian textual collage with the accompanying soundscapes offered a unique portrayal of the poet's work, one not gratuitous or ponderous but bardic and oracularly honest.
|Audio alchemists Jordan Hoffman and Steve Benson|
Gordon Ball offered a captivating reading from East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg, his reading style soft of touch with tender playfulness and pragmatic confidence. Both professorial and eccentric, a little like a Gregory Corso lite, Gordon Ball related poignant and insightful anecdotes from the years he spent at Allen Ginsberg's upstate New York farm, roughly 1969-1972.
After Gordon, Kevin Keady, Massachusetts musician and songwriter, performed, with guitar and vocals, Ginsberg's "Father Death Blues" (from "Don't Grow Old"), "Gospel Noble Truths," and "Do the Meditation Rock." Kevin Keady, himself a disciple of Allen, also lived at East Hill Farm, or as he and friends referred to it, "the Committee" (as indeed technically the farm was held under a non-profit entity founded by Ginsberg, the Committee on Poetry). His lively and sensitive performance seemed channeled in part through sacred memory, recollections of Allen Ginsberg, teacher and American hero.
To end the night, a spirited take of Ginsberg's classic "Hum Bom."
|Patrick Warner, Nicole DiCello, Kevin Keady, Gordon Ball|
reading "Hum Bom"
at the GINSBERG : GREEN celebration
April 7, 2017