Yeats on Skates, Joyce with a Voice – in the Digital Age
The Intrinsic team is working on a book with the Irish performer, singer-songwriter, and poet Pierce Turner. This is a great experience not only for the interaction with a delightful and vastly talented artist, but also for the reminder of the joys of working with an accomplished wordsmith. Pierce Turner is able to paint a motion picture with words, complete with a cast of characters, a setting in time and place, all the emotions, and his very own soundtrack. There is a great deal to be said for those who can “spin a yarn,” write a verse, a lyric, or a short story, and in doing so achieve a dramatic impact on their audience. Each of these forms of writing can present a carefully distilled slice of life and when this is done with talent and dexterous use of words, the best stories, verses and songs connect the reader or listener to the artist in ways that convey emotion and truth. Pierce Turner is one of those rare human beings that can do this with words, music, and in his performances, actions.
If you have the opportunity to see Pierce Turner in concert I highly recommend it. It is not your standard concert where a singer runs through his songs. You can see some wonderful performances by Pierce at his website and there are a few pieces on youtube.com of various quality. For verse I recommend Yogi with a Broken Heart (performed with Philip Glass at a benefit concert for Tibet), and for short story you can’t miss with “the Permist,” though there are many others I could mention. For sheer poetry, find a piece he does called simply, ‘End.’
Pierce is in the throws of compiling stories to accompany the lyrics and performance pieces that will appear in the book. Each entry, whether a story, song, poem, picture, or combination of these, is an enjoyable voyage taking the reader with the artist through time and events to places and emotions that enrich lives. That is the inspiring talent of wordsmiths like Pierce, who are tuned into the archetypal.
Pierce Turner’s art enriches and inspires his audience. His performances are enchanting and deeply involving. I strongly recommend seeing Pierce Turner any time and place you can. Translating Pierce’s art into a book is a more complex job today than it ever was before. New technology allows digital versions to wander all over the range of media to include audio and video on top of the printed word. Printed versions can carry links to the multimedia content and in either version the readers experience is enhanced. It will be interesting to see what shape the final versions of the project take, but if we can do justice to his archetypal power, lyrical beauty and natural Irish charm, we will have done something very special.
If the opportunity presents, see Pierce Turner live. In lieu of that, look for his book Why Use Two Words When Ten Will Do Perfectly Well. It will be the next best thing.