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The visceral and cultured texts of Kae Tempest

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The visceral and cultured texts of Kae Tempest

Connessioni is the title of the first essay by Kae Tempest, an English artist and musician who has been on the stages all over the world for years with his visceral and cultured texts: poems that can be read, translated in Italy by the publishing house and / or, but above all to listen to Tempest’s whispered, angry and vital voice. They are texts that often draw on the classical world, on Greek myth, on modern literature and also on the street, on the margins, on the underground.

“This is a book about connection. On how immersion in creativity can bring us closer to each other ”reads the opening. The structure of the chapters reflects that of a show: it starts with Staging, then Sound Check, the Scene and “Feeling it happen”.

Different moments of a concert

This sequence traces both the different moments of a concert as well as the stages both in the life and in the reflection of the author – but also of every human being. It is told how writing saved Tempest from an intense and lively youth but by which he risked being crushed, and then the discovery of the words, the Scene and the abuse of him, finally “hearing it happen”. Feel what happen? That something magical that is sometimes created – if you know how to listen, if you are naked enough, true, available and open – between artist and audience. The “connection”, in fact.

Kae Tempest notes how the word “connection” in the last two years has restricted its sphere of meaning to the virtual world: you “connect” to work or chat on zoom, perhaps to follow a concert. But connection is anything but: a mysterious enchantment and encounter that amplifies the meaning of the words and turns into a ritual. It is a purely physical experience: it is felt, it is not explained. And it brings us closer to others, it binds us to them, whoever they are, precisely because our bodies breathe the same air and are committed to sharing the same moment, to being crossed by the same music. body, but the ritual and the magic necessarily pass through being there: it is from there, says Tempest, that the energy that awakens us from the numbness of daily existence arrives.

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The lockdown made us rediscover its importance, but something was already happening before. In fact, it had been said for years that poetry was dead and no one read it anymore, when in reality it was only moving from the printed paper to the stages of basements and bars, sometimes of theaters: poetry was rediscovered live, said, whispered or shouted. Words are no longer enough, the body is needed.

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