new zealand electronic poetry centre
Alan Brunton in Performance 1974-2002. Image: Red Mole mask


To celebrate the publication of Alan Brunton’s Beyond the Ohlala Mountains: Poems 1968-2002, the NZ Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc) presents a selection of recordings drawn from the Brunton Rodwell Papers at the University of Auckland and from archives of the poet’s many collaborators. Brunton was a consummate performer of his own work, whether poetry, theatre or the many blends he developed between genres and often in association with musicians. Listen to mp3 singles to access the soundtrack of a truly remarkable poetry that is always walking onstage, urgent with news for another audience.

*    Text in Alan Brunton, Beyond the Ohlala Mountains: Poems 1968-2002, ed. Michele Leggott and Martin Edmond. Auckland: Titus Books, 2013.
BR    Alan Brunton and Sally Rodwell papers. MSS & Archives 2009/4. Special Collections, University of Auckland.


1970s

Alan Brunton as Hans Bones in Ghost Rite, 1978
Alan Brunton as Hans Bones in Ghost Rite, 1978

August 1974. Auckland, NZ. Studio recording for New Zealand Poets Read Their Work, a vinyl compilation released by Waiata Recordings in 1974. Brunton, just returned from four years of travel in Asia and Europe, recorded six poems, of which one (‘The Man on Crazies Hill’) was included on the LP. The Waiata recordings are part of the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive.

* More Postcards (mp3 : 2.3MB ) 
* Black & White Anthology(mp3 : 11MB ) 
* Getting back the bitter for the sweet  (mp3 : 3.3MB ) 
* Rimbaud’s Passport  (mp3 : 5.6MB ) 
Liberty Bus  (mp3 : 3.5MB ) 
The Man on Crazies Hill  (mp3 : 4.1MB ) 

New ZEaland Poets Read Their Work
New Zealand Poets Read Their Work, 1974

1978. Auckland, NZ. Crossing the Tracks: Music from the Red Mole Shows. EP featuring Midge Marsden and the Country Flyers, produced by Neil Hannan. Brunton and others contributed lyrics and some vocals. Musicians include Neil Hannan, Bud Hooper, Richard Kennedy, Wayne Laird, Harry Lyon, Tony McMaster, Midge Marsden, Stan Mitchell and Brian Wardell.

Viet Vet Blues  (mp3 : 2.3MB ) 

Crossing TRacks album cover
Crossing the Tracks, 1978

13 April 1979. Theatre for the New City, New York. Live audio recording of Red Mole’s The Last Days of Mankind, made by Neil Hannan. BR 15/60.

*The Message of Hans Bones  (mp3 : 2.1MB ) 
*Cripple Cockroach (1)  (mp3 : 5.6MB ) 

Poster of Last Days of Mankind
The Last Days of Mankind, 1979. Poster: Ian Prior

20 December 1979. Taos, NM. Live audio recording of Red Mole’s Numbered Days in Paradise, made by Neil Hannan. Hannan Collection.

* Cripple Cockroach (2)  (mp3 : 4.1MB ) 
Mission Grave (1)  (mp3 : 1MB ) 

NUmbered Days in Paradise
Numbered Days in Paradise, 1979


1980s

ePhoto of Alan, Sally and Ruby in a boat
Emigres: Red Mole in Central Park, 1986. Photo: Austin Trevitt

1980. Auckland, NZ. Red Mole EP I’ll Never Dance Down Bugis Street Again, featuring four songs from the show of the same title. Brunton contributed lyrics and some vocals. Music by Sam Ford, John Davies and Dave Ironside. BR 15/83.

Mr Asia (mp3 : 4.6MB ) 


I’ll Never Dance Down Bugis Street Again, 1980. Poster
Caption: I’ll Never Dance Down Bugis Street Again, 1980. Poster: Barry Linton

December 1980. Auckland, NZ. Live audio recording of The Redmole Version. Red Mole toured NZ in 1980 and The Redmole Version played in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington December 1980-January 1981. Music by Peter Scholes, Robert Ryan and Kate Walshe. BR 15/63/1.

Ars Eroica (1)  (mp3 : 9.3MB ) 

The Red Mole Version, poster
The Redmole Version, 1980. Poster: Richard Killeen

July 1981. Pyramid Theatre, NYC. Back in New York, Red Mole adapted The Redmole Version for American audiences, and Brunton performed new poems in the show. BR 15/42.

Albania: An Anthem  (mp3 : 7.8MB ) 
Soman soman  (mp3 : 4.2MB ) 
*Dialogue: A Man and His Soul (1)  (mp3 : 3.5MB ) 

The Red Mole Version, poster
The Redmole Version, 1981. Poster: Richard Killeen

April 1984. 8 BC, NYC. Live audio recording of Red Mole’s Poems for the Young at Heart aka Lost Chants for the Living, made by Phelim Lunny. Performers Brunton, Sally Rodwell, Deborah Hunt, Jean McAllister and Tony McMaster. Texts are from Brunton’s first American collection, And  She Said, published by Alexandra Fisher for Red Mole in NYC early in 1984.

Ars Eroica (2)  (mp3 : 8.2MB ) 
* Dialogue: A Man and His Soul (2)  (mp3 : 4.3MB ) 
A Story of the Creation  (mp3 : 5.1MB ) 
* Upon Walking in the Wild Mountains for a Week (1)  (mp3 : 8.3MB ) 
Hey, is there anybody there?   (mp3 : 2.7MB ) 
* Song of the Emigrant (1)  (mp3 : 1.4MB ) 
Oh, life’s a trouser leg  (mp3 : 1.8MB ) 

And She Said
Deborah Hunt. Photo: And  She Said, 1984

1985. Taos, NM. Studio audio recording of 20 poems, many from Brunton’s second American collection New Order, published by Alexandra Fisher for Red Mole in NYC in 1986. BR 15/1.

* Cripple Cockroach (3)  (mp3 : 3.4MB ) 
Casinos in the Sand  (mp3 : 3.4MB ) 
* An Encounter  (mp3 : 1.3MB ) 
* Search for Tomorrow (1)  (mp3 : 1.3MB ) 
Cauche de Mar  (mp3 : 1.7MB ) 
* Man in the Ion Mask (1)  (mp3 : 1.4MB ) 
* Alcohol / Romance / Acid Rain (1)   (mp3 : 1MB ) 
Cody is the Missing Man  (mp3 : 1MB ) 
* Domestic Thought  (mp3 : 1MB ) 
Cambodia.  (mp3 : 1.43MB ) 
8 O’Clock Walk  (mp3 : 1.2MB ) 
Last Night  (mp3 : 1MB ) 
Dreaming Away New York  (mp3 : 1.8MB ) 
* Sally  (mp3 : 1MB ) 
* The history of the others  (mp3 : 0.5MB ) 
Dog Dollar  (mp3 : 3.1MB ) 
Dead Fingers Walk  (mp3 : 3.5MB ) 
Afternoon  (mp3 : 2.3MB ) 
A Song from London  (mp3 : 1MB ) 
The Lesson  (mp3 : 1.2MB ) 

As Ice Advances
Poster: Barry Linton

1988. Wellington, NZ. Live audio recording with musician Jean McAllister for Radio Active. BR 15/2.

* Fugitive (1)  (mp3 : 5.5MB ) 
Afterward (1)  (mp3 : 6.5MB ) 
Ottery St Mary  (mp3 : 3.5MB ) 
* Captain Skid: The Second Dying Person  (mp3 : 3.8MB ) 
Literary Life in Wellington  (mp3 : 1MB ) 
An Enquiry  (mp3 : 0.5MB ) 
A Season Begins  (mp3 : 1MB ) 
* Self-Portrait  (mp3 : 1.9MB ) 
* Man in the Ion Mask (2)   (mp3 : 1.3MB ) 
* Alcohol / Romance / Acid Rain (2)  (mp3 : 1.3MB ) 
Search for Tomorrow (2)  (mp3 : 1.3MB ) 
*Song of the Emigrant (2)  (mp3 : 3.9MB ) 

Drawing: Sally Rodwell. Untold 9/10 (1988)
Drawing: Sally Rodwell. Untold 9/10 (1988)


1990s

Alan Brunton in Avondale, 1991
Alan Brunton in Avondale, 1991. Photo: Sally Rodwell

1992. Wellington, NZ. Two Songs from The Book of Life. Lyrics by Brunton, music by Jean McAllister. Recorded by Jean McAllister and Tony McMaster for cassette release with the publication of a Red Mole feature in Illusions 18 (Summer 1991-92). Red Mole was on one side of the cassette, Phil Dadson’s From Scratch orchestra on the other.

Chapter One  (mp3 : 6.5MB ) 
Island Bay  (mp3 : 12.4MB ) 

Illusions 18
Illusions 18 (Summer 1991-92)

1994. Wellington, NZ. Studio audio recording of ‘Waves,’ the second section of Brunton’s long poem Moonshine (Bumper Books, 1998). An unidentified narrator tells the story of Ernest Rutherford’s quest for atomic immortality. BR 15/62.

Waves (1)  (mp3 : 29.5MB ) 

Ernest Rutherford
Ernest Rutherford

13 November 1996. Overseas Terminal, Wellington, NZ. Live video recording of Sky on Fire, a concert performance for Abolition 2000 in support of New Zealand’s anti-nuclear policy.   Script by Brunton, music by Jonathan Besser and the Free Word Band. The Forge Video Productions. BR 16/63/1.

Sky on Fire  (mp3 : 34.6MB ) 

Sky on Fire Scrapbook, 1996
Sky on Fire Scrapbook, 1996

22 March 1997. First Floor Underground, Wellington, NZ. Live audio recording of concert show Theories of Everything, made by Jonathan Besser. Texts by Brunton, music by Besser and the Free Word Band. BR 15/36.

* Stars & Fate  (mp3 : 23.1MB ) 
Amsterdam (mp3 : 16MB ) 
Beyond the Ohlala Mountains (1)  (mp3 : 31MB ) 

Theories of Everything, 1997. Poster: Alan Brunton
Theories of Everything, 1997. Poster: Alan Brunton

1997. Wellington, NZ. 33 Perfumes of Pleasure. Music and spoken word CD, recorded live 12 – 13 July at Braeburn Studios and released by Bumper Records / Red Mole. Performers Brunton and the Free Word Band (Campbell Kneale, Kieran Monaghan, Michelle Scullion and Grant Sutherland). BR 18/25.

*Living in the Real World (1)  (mp3 : 9.3MB ) 
Delphine / The Heavenly Spouse  (mp3 : 8.7MB ) 
April Showers  (mp3 : 15.3MB ) 
White Sky / Black Night  (mp3 : 5.1MB ) 
The New CD * 2 of Us (1)   (mp3 : 5.7MB ) 
Beyond the Ohlala Mountains (2) (mp3 : 25.2MB ) 

33 Perfumes of Pleasue cover
33 Perfumes of Pleasure, 1997. Cover: Grant Sutherland

1998. Wellington, NZ. Heaven’s Cloudy Smile, poetry video directed by Sally Rodwell and released by GG Films / Red Mole. Script by Brunton, Rodwell and Michele Leggott. Performers Brunton and Leggott. The video was filmed in March 1997 in Auckland and Wellington. Brunton revised his half of the script as a poem for Ecstasy (Bumper Books, 2001). BR 16/28/3.

Movie   (mp3 : 6.1MB ) 

Alan Brunton in Heaven’s Cloudy Smile, 1998
Alan Brunton in Heaven’s Cloudy Smile, 1998 

October 1999. Auckland, NZ. Studio recording for Seeing Voices: New Zealand Poets Read their Work, an audio CD released by Auckland UP in 1999. Brunton recorded seven poems from Slow Passes (Auckland UP, 1991), one of which ‘Transformed Urbs: The Days of,’ was included on the CD. Wayne Laird of Atoll Records engineered the recordings. BR 17/1/1.

* Slow Passes (mp3 : 1.4MB ) 
* Vis Imaginativa (mp3 : 2.4MB ) 
* Of Poetry (mp3 : 1MB ) 
* Fugitive (2) (mp3 : 3.8MB ) 
* Chant of Paradise (mp3 : 7.9MB ) 
Afterward (2)  (mp3 : 4.3MB ) 
Transformed Urbs / The Days of (mp3 : 11.7MB ) 

Slow Passes
Slow Passes, 1991. Cover: Richard Killeen

9 October 1999. The Space, Wellington, NZ.  Live video recording of Red Mole concert show Radio Radio 2. The show premiered 17-18 September in Auckland at the Going West Literary Festival, then played in Wellington 8-10 October. Performers were Brunton, Rodwell, musicians Kieran Monaghan and Grant Sutherland, and singer Angeline Conaghan. The Auckland show featured guests Michele Leggott and Jean McAllister. Br 16/34.

*Living in the Real World (2) (mp3 : 6.1MB ) 
Naked Greed (mp3 : 5.1MB ) 
Nobody Talking  (mp3 : 11.1MB ) 
Fq #49 Sign on the Corner (mp3 : 4.7MB ) 
Good Night, Stones (mp3 : 6.9MB ) 
2 of Us (2) (mp3 : 6.5MB ) 

Radio Radio 2, 1999. Poster: Alan Brunton
Radio Radio 2, 1999. Poster: Alan Brunton


2000s

Alan Brunton in Grooves of Glory, 2002.
Alan Brunton in Grooves of Glory, 2002.

June 2000. Wellington, NZ. Video recording of Santiago de Compostela for public television broadcast 27 July on Channel 7. Music and spoken word performance by Brunton, Angeline Conaghan and Kieran Monaghan. The script traces a journey along the famous pilgrim route to Santiago di Compostela in Northern Spain. It was published as Compostela: A Walk in Grooves of Glory: Three Performance Texts (Bumper Books, 2004). BR 16/54. 

Santiago de Compostela (mp3 : 75.3MB ) 

Santiago de Compostela, 2000. Poster: Alan Brunton
Santiago de Compostela, 2000. Poster: Alan Brunton

June 2000. Medellín, Colombia. Live video recording of two performances by Alan Brunton and Spanish reader at the X Medellín Poetry Festival, made by Sally Rodwell. Texts in English and Spanish, from Es Como Es: How It Is, a chapbook published in Medellín during the festival in English and Spanish editions. BR 16/14/4.

* Fq #22 Fever; The New CD; Stars & Fate; 2 of Us (3) (mp4 : 145MB ) 
Es Como Es; 2 of Us (4) (mp4 : 82.5MB ) 

Es Como Es: How It Is, 2000. Cover: Clara Restrepo
Es Como Es: How It Is, 2000. Cover: Clara Restrepo

30 May 2002. The Space, Wellington, NZ. Live audio recording of Red Mole’s Grooves of Glory, made by Jeff Henderson. Brunton used poems from Ecstasy (2001) and other recent publications in the script for Grooves of Glory, which toured to The Porsgrunn International Theatre Festival in June 2002. It was published in Grooves of Glory: Three Performance Texts (2004). A video recording of the show, labelled 2 June 2002, was also made at The Space. BR 17/1/4. BR 16/58.

* Selected Alchemical Letters #1 (mp3 : 7.5MB ) 
* F / s (mp3 : 2.3MB ) 
* Guru Hoodoo (mp3 : 4.1MB ) 
* Plea to H— (mp3 : 6.2MB ) 
Writing out of Nothing; Waves (2) (mp3 : 6.8MB ) 
Yes; Pearls of Slooze   (mp3 : 9.6MB ) 
Prelude to an Afternoon (mp3 : 3.4MB ) 

Grooves of Glory, 2002. Flyer: Alan Brunton
Grooves of Glory, 2002. Flyer: Alan Brunton

June 2002. Wellington, NZ. Nietzsche / Zarathustra. Music and spoken word CD, recorded live at The Space by Jeff Henderson and released by Red Mole / Space CDs. Texts by Brunton, music by Henderson. Performers Brunton, Rodwell, Henderson, Daphne Owers, Chris Palmer and Tom Callwood. Zarathustra Said, the show on which the CD is based, toured with Grooves of Glory to Norway in 2002. Its outdoor performance at Porsgrunn on 21 June was Alan Brunton’s final stage appearance before his death in Amsterdam 27 June 2002. The script was published in Grooves of Glory: Three Performance Texts (2004). CD available for download at  iiii records.

Prelude (mp3 : 7.6MB ) 
* Walking (aka Upon Walking in the Wild Mountains for a Week) (mp3 : 16.8MB ) 
Endless Bliss (mp3 : 7.9MB ) 
Night Song (mp3 : 11.1MB ) 
Convalescent (mp3 : 7.8MB ) 
Island of Graves (mp3 : 10MB ) 
New Morning (mp3 : 6.3MB ) 
The Wizard (mp3 : 14.9MB ) 
Desert Vision (mp3 : 8.8MB ) 
Drunken Song (mp3 : 9.7MB ) 

Nietzsche / Zarathustra, 2002
Nietzsche / Zarathustra, 2002

 


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Last updated 25 March, 2014