It is painfully ironic that the only way I could have discovered others making digitally produced audio poetry was via SoundCloud. It was because of my finding a community of poetry listeners that I became motivated to develop my own practice as a sound-artist-poet, indeed it is through SoundCloud that I discovered that practice. It was because of SoundCloud, and the way I could receive and leave comments on others’ work, that I was able to learn so much, and also pass on to others some of what I know about poetry and poetics. Only through SoundCloud and being able to make the SoundCloud group ‘air to hear’ was I able to seek and collect the work of other sound-artist-poets.
All this work is now in jeopardy. My work of seeking and encouraging depends on being able to leave substantial comments. I’ve been a community poet since the late 90s, someone who encourages others to speak and write creatively – SoundCloud was the only online ‘place’ that I felt I could carry out that kind of work. All that now seems likely to go. Even if I can choose to carry on using the classic SoundCloud interface I will not be able to leave informative, critically constructive and encouraging comments on others’ tracks, unless they too choose the old way. If I now find some young in-experienced poet in some corner of our world dabbling with sound who only needs a couple of careful critical comments about their work, plus a good dose of ‘good-on-you’ and ‘keep-at’, and perhaps an invitation to contribute to ‘air to hear’ …. well … I just can’t do that anymore. ‘air to hear’ depends on expansive comment boxes.
It is painfully ironic that so much has begun to be so suddenly ended. It’s as if careful and loving parents have been seduced overnight, by Hades perhaps; and now those parents are hungry and forgetful, so that all they reared is left to waste … as they follow their new gleaming god.
Behind every cloud there is a silver-sonic lining.
Behind every clown, in the depths of every clown,
beneath the mask of hilarity, there is sadness
and even dark anguish.
SoundCloud not SoundClown.