TVS and Two Fingers Performance Poetry and Sound Art

TVS and Two Fingers Performance Poetry and Sound Art

TVS and Two Fingers Performance Poetry and Sound Art

Big Treasure — The Best of Ten Years

TVS and Two Fingers

There’s a niche market for weird poetry — coffee houses, open-mic nights, and odd little minimalist circulation journals printed on primly minimalist pages with minimalist audiences. TVS and Two Fingers is an even narrower subset of those genera, performing their funky little poems on top of musical instruments that range from the flute and slide whistle to Bundt pans or masking tape. Sometimes sounding like Hearts of Space (“Chinook”), sometimes like Barnes and Barnes (“Johnny Paintbrush”), but mostly like Ken Nordine teamed with Laurie Anderson (“We all Fall Down,” “Foam”), TVS presents an intriguing if challenging listen, and they are best taken when other distracting sounds aren’t blasting you. In other words, you’ll miss the act if you try this in a car on the way to work.

TVS is a gentleman with Tim Van Schmidt printed on his driver’s license who works with Mark Rosoff and David Zekman out of Colorado Springs. They all have an interest in unusual instruments as well as a good technical grasp of the traditional strings and winds. At first the disc is a bit disorienting, but soon you start to wonder what Bundt pans or a dachsaphone might sound like. The voices are soothing and confident, and while I can never just read poetry, listening to it is very comforting.

Topics in the poetry are suitably wide-ranging. “Pencils Down” reflects on the transience of life, others on less edgy topics such as birds in flight (“Mountain’s Shadow”) or watching the stars late at night (“Ode to the Stars”). Overall, this is the sort of band I’d like to see in person — they are talented and self-effacing, embellished with an excellent sense of humor.

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