Eliot Cardinaux

Pianist/Poet/Composer/Improviser

Sweet Beyond Witness

Sweet Beyond Witness is a forthcoming solo recording of mine that I’m in the midst of funding. Written, composed, and performed around the idea of what it means to witness beauty in the world amidst the devastation of our current administration, and the baring/bearing witness to the latent destruction going on amidst that beauty − it is informed by a political process, a poetic process, a musical process of editing, composing, and improvising; to trace experience − lifting in and out of “it” in order to see, from a bird’s-eyes angle: potential.

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Sweet Beyond Witness Campaign Videos

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The album is recorded and the order of tracks is set. It needs mixing (Eivind Opsvik), mastering (Nate Wood), and manufacturing (CDs) in order for me to get it to you. Other perks will include a chapbook of poems on the album, a digital download on bandcamp.com, and a collection of essays, poetics, and forms that will include the original process notes for the album. Other than that, lessons, poetry, concerts and commissions, and a selection from my latest and past written work and recorded music to date will be offered in exchange, at a low cost, for the various amounts you pledge.

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Follow the link:

Sweet Beyond Witness

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In doing this, I’m bringing resources back into the community that would otherwise be lost to advertisers on Spotify, and their shareholders. Choosing musicians whom I trust to do the mixing and mastering will help me do this. Releasing it digitally on bandcamp, a conscientious platform, as well as on CD, with two beautifully bound chapbooks, will not only enable me to bring this musical and poetic project to you in a non-destructive way, but will help me to reach toward each next project that I endeavor to accomplish, and grow from it as well.

 

Just an honest note: holding my standards high in this regard is more critical now than it’s ever been for me. I will perform this music live, and eventually, with the aid of grants and other funding, bring other players into the fold, bringing work to musicians, music to new audiences, as well as revenue to performance spaces, all of those who need it, more than ever − in order to retain such a deep sense of community as fostered in and among we who frequent such events and appreciate such music.

 

Every little bit helps, and I’ve made it affordable enough for virtually anyone to participate. For as little as $5 you can receive a digital download of the album, meaning, to backers who have the means, please consider contributing accordingly. Consider purchasing a lesson for a friend, or relative, or someone who needs it − because this music needs people in order not only to survive, but to thrive. I know I’m not the only one to say this, and I hope you like the record…

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Follow the link:

Sweet Beyond Witness

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It is SWEET BEYOND WITNESS to be able to finally present this to you! Thank you − wholeheartedly − in advance, for your support. That means a lot to me; I know you know this music needs you.

All the best,

Eliot

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New Book: Nativity – OUT NOW on The Bodily Press

Eliot Cardinaux’s newest collection of poetry, Nativity, now out on The Bodily Press, is a 4 part sequence exploring the symbols, images, and phenomena of the present age. It includes an exhibition of highly triggered, symbolic, imagistic poems, entitled “Guests;” an essay outlining the author’s “Theses on the Philosophy of Rarity” in the digital age; a short selection of personal dedications in verse, titled “Sentiments;” and a long-form, fragmentary poetics, also in verse, entitled “is the soft boy ready.”

‘I’m thinking of an inverse poetry, which turns experience outward like a flower, raises up without empathy, and echoes the reader, without ensnaring; its collection would be, like their trace upon a winter city, a ghost town for friends.’
-Eliot Cardinaux, from the introduction to Nativity

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Cover from Nativity

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New record in the can!

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Eliot Cardinaux at Dimension Sound Studio
in Jamaica Plain, MA

Hello folks,

I laid my new solo record down yesterday at Dimension Sound studio in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, where I live. Solo piano, prepared piano, spoken word. Compositions and improvisations written and developed over the course of the last year. I even whispered a little. Stay tuned…

 

 

Thoughts on Being and Action after not encountering Hermeto Pascoal

I’ve come to realize that everybody carries a form of responsibility over their music. This makes me think on Hermeto Pascoal’s visit to receive his honorary doctorate from NEC while I was working in the shop outside the hall. I saw nothing of him, except in photographs, during the course of that day. However, the overwhelming lightness of his presence, I felt, and felt still the next day and throughout the course of that week on the block by the Conservatory. It carried its own music to me, by way of those people around him who were willing enough to let it in. It was as if he allowed this to happen. However, I couldn’t help feeling a sense of justice in his presence there, too.

(Hermeto Pascoal with Ken Schaphorst)

It is difficult to consistently carry a spirit like that to others, that is creative. Under circumstances which on the surface deny it its right to exist, it seems doubly encouraging, when it does. However, it is honest for me to say, that it’s a right and responsibility to carry on the work of music so that, rightly, it speaks freely and truthfully, and that the caretaker is no longer caretaker, and so on, but an active exponent of the spirit of sound and humanity. That being said, the word ‘humanity’ has a certain ring these days that I’m not quite sure how to feel about.

I’m not just talking about what does it mean to be human, what is humanity, and all that. I’m also talking about the way language shifts throughout the course of an era, an age, a decade; a year, a day, and so on and so forth. I would guess that since I use words in my music, many people think that’s why I care so much about language; I’m not sure that’s the case. I think about language because it is the medium in which things express themselves (I’m paraphrasing Walter Benjamin, from an essay he wrote called “On Language as Such and on the Language of Man”). Gender biases aside, perhaps inherent in the title, in this essay, Benjamin works out a sort of root logistics for a phenomenology of language, in that it stems, in Western Society, from the bible and so forth, “in the beginning was the Word” and all that, for one, but also in that (and again, I’m paraphrasing) things express themselves, in language, not through language, as the case may be, as it is oftentimes expressed in colloquial terms.

This struck me as true, however, about how I felt when Hermeto Pascoal was in Boston. It didn’t seem to be the things that he was saying, (from what I heard, he made a delightful sound when given the mic) and that it was what he was expressing that came through so clearly I could feel it around me even though I hadn’t witnessed that in person.

This leads me to think about the realm of intersection between being and action, and that those two are interlinked, by example, in the realm of that which is felt, that which is felt, not feeling, and by which choices may be made; therefore underlining the frame under which being and action operate, that is by feeling: one can act, and therefore not react in the realm of that which is felt. Thanks Hermeto.

The Bodily Press

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Official Press Launch
Triple Book Release & Reading
Sat. Feb. 4th, 7:00PM
@ Goodrich House
36 Goodrich Rd.
Jamaica Plain

Dear Friends,

As most of you know, I’ve been publishing small books of poetry on my own for about 4 years now; never digitally, but let’s face it – it gets lonely out there for a guy and a computer, and for a while I’ve wanted to start printing books for other people. Rare bits of music released on tape as well, go hand in hand with that, I guess. So today, The Bodily Press awakens, kneeling; and scratches its head at the altar of technology, at last. Read the rest of this entry »

Theses on the Philosophy of Rarity

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In the present age, visual and aural senses are the only used to absorb those works of art that are digitally reproduced and distributed. In the case of other senses, we rely on synesthesia as it correlates with these differing modes of expression. In a museum, one is rarely allowed to touch a work of art; as Benjamin states, one may simply stand near it, amidst its “aura.” Read the rest of this entry »

AMERICAN THICKET – OUT NOW on Loyal Label

Photo by Michelle Arcila Opsvik

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RE-EMERGING PIANIST, POET AND COMPOSER ELIOT CARDINAUX OFFERS UP AMERICAN THICKET, HIS DEBUT ALBUM AS A LEADER ON LOYAL LABEL, A HAUNTING RIFLE THROUGH THE UNDERGROWTH OF AMERICAN RURAL CULTURE IN TENSILE IMPROVISATIONS AND VERSE

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Music and the Mechanics of a Beloved Creature

Existential answers, like the answers provided by some religions, are a means by which we attempt to find comfort in the present moment. A good example would be this: if someone is going through a rough time, and consequently finds out that others around him are also going through a rough time, that person might find an answer in astrology: say, “Mercury is in retrograde.” The flip side of this answer might be that Read the rest of this entry »

Excerpts from “The Gown of Entry”

The Fit of God

These are from The Gown of Entry, a short collection of prose poems I am working on currently. Feels nice to break into a new way of dealing with language. Because of the prose, some say Read the rest of this entry »

Ways to Mouth

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Ways to word

 

These are part of an ongoing series of writings in which I’m beginning to document my poetic process. These are not meant as a manual for writing, although they indeed intend to spark conversation and thought surrounding the process of writing for many other people beside myself. There is no one way to write, and therefore any convictions I gain throughout this process will remain my own, except if they are transliterated by others into their own ways to mouth. I use the word transliteration, which means Read the rest of this entry »