JAZZOGRAPHICS/SHABAH performance, Virgil Mihaiu

Dumitru Belinschi / keyboards & piano; Marius Gagiu / flute & percussion; Mario Florescu / drums & percussion; Virgil Mihaiu / poetry & percussion

This audio sample is recorded fragments from Mihaiu and his jazz-poetry outfit (for the occasion, named JAZZOGRAPHIC /SHABAH) performing at the last World Exhibition of the 20th century, held in Lisbon in 1998. Because of the context, Mihaiu spoke all of the texts in Portuguese.

The first text is called "Outono" ("Autumn"), spoken by Mihaiu with comping from Dumitru Belinschi, the pianist/keyboardist/composer of the group.

Following, is a masterpiece by the Brazilian poet Murilo Mendes, entitled "Estudo Quase-Patetico" ("Quasi-Pathetic Study"), written in the early 1930s. Mendes is buried in Lisbon in what is noted as the city's most beautiful cemetery, which bears the surrealistic name Cemiterio dos Prazeres (Cemetery of the Pleasures). Mihaiu speaks the text, but also plays some percussion instruments in this piece — the Brazilian rainstick-tube among them. Belinschi was on keyboards, Marius Gagiu on flute, and Mario Florescu on drums and percussion.

The last piece exemplifies how Mihaiu's performances were organized: an alternation of texts spoken with purely instrumental pieces composed and arranged by Belinschi.

Two of Mihaiu's poems, "Finesse de Brasil" and "Universal Canticle," can be read in our print or digital edition of the March 2011 issue on page 33.

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