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J.J. Tindall

J.J. Tindall
J.J. Tindall (photo by Jim Newberry)

J.J. Tindall is a poet, musician, and educator. He is an explorer and experimenter in poetry and its collateral relationships to performance, music, and video. Tindall's audio works have been heard often on European radio, particularly in the Netherlands. He has taken his first tentative steps into poetry video. He is a professor of English at Wright College (Chicago City Colleges). The artist maintains a media-rich website at jjtindall.com, which contains an in-depth curriculum vitae.

Tindall's audiopoetry embraces both the pop and the more aesthetic/artistic lines of contemporary spoken word. Therein he has found success in creating work that is accessible to laypeople, while rendering ample ideas and subtle innovations for more critical listeners. He adheres to a "poetry first" agenda, where the sonic arrangements made for his language have freedom to embody or amplify his message, but they neither take over nor become the message. Keeping a balance between sound and language does not necessarily exclude their interaction, however. Rather than restrict the music to merely framing speech, Tindall and Rex Tangle arrange musical ambience that heightens the language by unison or, sometimes, by divergent counterpoint. Language and music enjoy a dialogue.

Tindall has been compared to Beat or Rock poets of the late 20th century. However, his practice is more akin to poet-musician contemporaries in North America, such as Heather Haley and Ian Ferrier, and poetry bands of the 1980s and 1990s such as Algebra Suicide (Lydia Tomkiw, lead poet) and Circadian Rhythm (Christopher Stewart, lead poet).

The following tracks were recorded by Tindall and his colleague Rex Tangle in 2004, with the group name "Quoil" (pronounced as coil). Text and vocals are by Tindall, and the remainder of the compositions were created by Tangle. They're excerpted from their disc titled A Foggy Oasis:

Napoleon at Acre
the battle of hell
elephant mourning
creepy chinese mountains
heavens mortal tigers
Napoleon at Cairo

play all selections in the order above

- December 2004