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Nothing Exists
     

Nothing Exists

by Copernicus
 
Downtown Manhattan -- that is, Manhattan south of 14th Street -- has had more than its share of artistic cult figures over the years, and Joseph Smalkowski, aka Copernicus, is among them. Copernicus' eccentric brand of spoken word started earning him a small underground cult following in downtown Manhattan

Overview

Downtown Manhattan -- that is, Manhattan south of 14th Street -- has had more than its share of artistic cult figures over the years, and Joseph Smalkowski, aka Copernicus, is among them. Copernicus' eccentric brand of spoken word started earning him a small underground cult following in downtown Manhattan venues in the late '70s, but it wasn't until 1984 that he fully took the plunge as a recording artist with his debut album, Nothing Exists (which was originally released as a vinyl LP and was reissued on CD by MoonJune in 2010). Early in his career, Copernicus performed without musicians -- which is the norm for most spoken word artists -- but it didn't take him long to realize the power of combining words with music. And on Nothing Exists, he is backed by a full band of musicians. A variety of influences can be heard on this 1984 recording, ranging from punk to avant-garde jazz to avant-garde classical. The music, however, isn't very abrasive -- edgy, certainly, but not abrasive. It's music that works well for Copernicus, who brings a lot of passion to his abstract spoken word performances. More than once, Copernicus' passionate rants have been likened to the work of a Shakespearean actor -- and that Shakespearean element is alive and well on stream-of-consciousness tracks like "Nagasaki," "Atomic Nevermore," "Blood," and "Quasimodo," all of which helped set the stage for an interesting recording career. Copernicus, like a lot of avant-garde artists, can be quite self-indulgent. But that's part of the fun -- at least if one isn't afraid of the cerebral or the experimental. Copernicus' recording career was off to a promising start with Nothing Exists.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/20/2010
Label:
Moonjune Records
UPC:
0723616208522
catalogNumber:
2085

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Copernicus   Primary Artist,Vocals
Pierce Turner   Keyboards,Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Peter Collins   Bass
Thomas Hamlin   Drums
Larry Kirwan   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Fred Chalenor   Bass Guitar
Fionnghuala   Flute,Vocals
Steve Menasche   Percussion,Marimbas
Chris Katris   Guitar
Andy Leahy   Violin,Vocals
Jimmy Zhivago   Guitar,Piano
Paddy Higgins   Bodhran,Floor Tom
Jeffrey Lad   Flute,Keyboards,Vocals

Technical Credits

Ron Bacchiocchi   Engineer
Joseph Smalkowski   Executive Producer
Martin Longley   Liner Notes
Andy Heermans   Engineer
Michael Theodore   Engineer

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