Caroline Bergvall and Mario Diaz de León present the reading-performance My Chaucer. Splicing together present-day English with French, Middle English, Norse, lost Latin, and some altogether untraceable words, while quoting Emma Goldman, BBC communications, and other sources, Bergvall's contemporary tales feast on a strange, ill-assorted Euro-lingo. The rich palate of Chaucer's medieval Canterbury Tales is the active backdrop for pointed or humorous commentaries on today's corruptions, pleasures, and blind spots; meanwhile Diaz de León's music, abstractly evoking medieval and contemporary elements, supports and engages in its own dialogue with the text. Melodies are performed on 36-string zither and textural noise guitar. A screwed-up insectile funk and protest mood emerges from this offbeat carnival of songs.
The work of Caroline Bergvall, a London-based writer and poet, is frequently multilingual and mixed media. She has developed audioworks, visual textwork, net-based pieces, live and sited performances, both in Europe and in North America. Her latest collection of poetic and performance pieces is entitled FIG (Salt, 2005). Collaborations include the sound-text installation Say: "Parsley" at the Liverpool Biennial (2004), and forthcoming MuKha (Antwerp). She recently presented work at Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007) as part of their Modern Poets series. Her critical work is concerned with mixed-media writings and multilingual poetics. She is the recipient of an AHRC Arts Fellowship in Britain (2007-2010).
Mario Diaz de León is a New York City-based composer and performer working in and around contemporary composition, noise improvisation, noise rock, and multimedia collaboration. His activities include composing chamber music for small ensembles with electronics, performing in the psychedelic improv unit Symbol, solo performance, and a decade-long collaboration with video artist Jay King. His discography includes three releases for the Shinkoyo label, and an upcoming CD on John Zorn's Tzadik label. He has performed and exhibited internationally, and is currently pursuing his doctorate in composition at Columbia University.