Franz Mon

  1. Das Gras Wies Wächst (Side A)

  2. Das Gras Wies Wächst (Side B)

  3. Da du der bist (1973) (13:00)

  4. Tracks 1-2 from 45 RPM record
    Track 3 from the LP Futura Poesia Sonora (Cramps Records, Milan)

    Franz Mon is one of the most representative and committed avant-garde authors in Germany. Taking for granted, on the one hand, the semantic chaos and, on the other, the formal possibilities of the subject in a field of existential choices, the problem of form appears to be the problem of extricating an area of considerable conventionality of communication from the shapeless relationships established between the language and things: the construction of a replaceable technical fact against an irreplaceable informal background. It is an avant-garde-constructivistic type of solution which we consider still valid. A tension of research is generated. Franz Mon is a tireless researcher, his material is language. In "Artikulationen" he speaks of " the dance of the lips, of the tongue, of the teeth, movements of substance which creates by itself its own directions at the threshold of articulation... the vocal vibrations absorb the air, disfigure it, throw it back, suck it in, creating sonic substances which are elastic, somber, soft, brilliant, wide, harsh... the primitive cry, exteriorizing itself, becomes a signal variably interpretable... the more intense the impulse, the more radical is the expression and the more definite is the separation from the I who speaks". A typical example is his research on the transformations from phoneme to phoneme caused by gradual changes of the sonic compounds, a process inverse to that of Chlebnikov's homophonies: in place of the fusion between words or suffixes or prefixes and roots to form a new sonic entity, Mon practices the scission of the phonic a word, which becomes other and then other again, changing its colour in verbal terms which are always different and always changing. These are the "Articulations" and the diction faithfully follows the new significations that emerge. Exploiting these experiences, Mon is now able to produce complex acoustical pantomimes, such as "Blaiberg Funeral", of intense expressionistic tones and with assemblies of the articulations of several voices. His most recent work, "Das Gras Wies Wächst", issued on a record, lasts about 40 minutes. Its title refers to a typical German saying: let the grass grow on something, that is to say, bury and forget it, and also ear the grass rowing, that is, perceive things that no one else can perceive, or, again, "bite the grass", that is, die in a miserable manner, like soldiers in wartime. We have chosen the poem "da du der bist" (that's how you are). It is the first part of a sequence of three pieces, a co-production of the musician Tera de Marez Ovens and Franz Mon: the sound-phonic material belongs to both and each uses it entirely. The first part is Mon's. We have omitted the second part, Tera de Marez's, and the third, which is a synthesis of the first two parts.

    Franz Mon was born at Frankfurt in 1926. He studied history and philosophy. In 1963 he founded the publishing house Typos-Verlag. He lives in Frankfurt.

    Franz Mon in UbuWeb Historical