Skylight Press
  ANTIPHONAL AIRS     New from Skylight Press
  Joseph Noble      
  Antiphonal Airs

Antiphonal Airs is a mixilating series of poems from poet-musician Joseph Noble.  Some are improvisational riffs on specific composers, their lives and work, and some imitate the sonic movement and aleatoric rhythm of music itself.  Noble works between polyphony and monody, his poetic lines mirroring the development of the seconda practica of the Baroque, in which the form of vocal music was made reflect and fit the meaning of the words.  He follows the Orphic muse through music’s different phases and stylings, from the primal to the ornate, always following Hazrat Inayat Khan’s dictum that the world and its language come to us through sound and vibrations.  Antiphonal Airs follows An Ives Set, which explored mercurial compositions of Charles Ives, and about which Andrew Joron wrote - "Noble has somehow tinkered a radio out of words, and tuned it to receive transmissions from a lost paradise of music. Yet Noble's line is listening, not to sound alone, but to pure pattern. Here, writing itself is graphically recast as a rhythmics of perception.”

A sumptuous collection by poet-musician Joseph Noble.  The certainty of his pitch & intonation reveals a distinct tender voice.  Measured, graceful, his work sustains its depth throughout.  The first section on "early music" is revelatory in its range & insight.  Rich in historical acumen, musical heart, Antiphonal Airs an impressive body of work.
— David Meltzer

In Joseph Noble’s Antiphonal Airs, the reader perceives form meeting form,each shaping and naming the other  in “aural geometries” that are simultaneously “recognizable and strange/at the rim of/summoning and leaving.”  Noble’s keen ear certainly endows the language of these poems with lyricism and lushness, but below that enticing surface are patterns “silent and/only seen/erased and/only heard.”  Such confusion of pattern, Noble reveals, makes possible the genesis of new meaning, new form.  This he discloses through the attention and responsiveness that the antiphon of his title suggests.  These poems make us aware of correspondences flourishing in interchanges that are no less powerful for their ephemerality: “sound at the edge/ of note and naught.” 
— Elizabeth Robinson

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ISBN: 978-1-908011-64-0
Copyright: Joseph Noble
Language: English
Pages: 126  
Binding: perfect-bound paperback
Front cover artwork: 'Filament' by Brian Lucas
Interior print: black & white
Dimensions: 15.2cm wide × 22.9cm tall (6 x 9 in)

Published March 7th 2013


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  Antiphonal Airs back cover