“the Pugilist” sound collage

“The pugilist” is a poem from a manuscript titled Mantasia!, a work-in-progress. This recording Andrew is going to play for you represents the text of the poem [edited slightly at the end, and divergent from the text published so graciously by Painted Bride Quarterly in its 2015 Humor Issue], but it also incorporates several sampled (or appropriated) texts, dutifully listed on the Facebook event page. One of the sources is a recording of the traditional Indian or Hindustani “Raga Nat Bhairav,” as performed by Nikhil Banerjee. Quoting from Wikipedia: “Bhairav has its name from Bhairava, an incarnation of Shiva, and was historically associated with glory and awe, but became identified with peace and devotion.” Quoting from Rajan Parrikar’s article “Bhairav –– The Primordial Sound”: “Concerning its etymology, ‘Bhairav’ is an epithet of Lord Shiva, associated with his fierce, bhayanak swaroopa” or “terrible form.” Quoting from N. Saikrishnan’s blog about classical Indian or Hindustani music: “Bhairav is one of the names of Lord Shiva in his ascetic mode with the holy ashes smeared all over his body with matted hair (Bhayanak Swaroopa in Hindi). Hence it is said to be one of the most masculine ragas in Hindustani tradition. However with its vast scope for permutations and combinations, this raga is used to depict various rasas from valour to [peace] to Bhakthi,” defined by American Heritage Dictionary as “a path to achieving salvation through loving devotion to a particular deity, open to all persons irrespective of sex or caste.”

Appropriations, in order of appearance:

  1. Survivor performing the song “Eye of the Tiger”
  2. Vin Diesel quoted as XXX in XXX movie
  3. Randy Mario Poffo sampled as WWF character Macho Man Randy Savage [assorted clips]
  4. Sylvester Stallone sampled as Rocky Balboa from Rocky and Rocky II and Rocky III movies
  5. Nikhil Banerjee performing the song “Raga Nat Bhairav: Alap”
  6. Mac OSX VoiceOver sampled as Alex reading Jacob A. Bennett poem “the Pugilist”
  7. Mac OSX VoiceOver sampled as Zarvox reading Jacob A. Bennett poem “the Pugilist”
  8. Boxing bell sampled from Rocky movie
  9. Jack Mercer and Billy Costello sampled as Popeye the Sailor [assorted clips]
  10. “Popeye the Sailor” early main theme, which is a mix of traditional songs “The Sailor’s Hornpipe” and “Strike Up the Band (Here Comes a Sailor)”
  11. Nappy Roots beat sampled (and manipulated) from the song “Awnaw”
  12. Burgess Meredith sampled as Mickey Goldmill from Rocky and Rocky II and Rocky III movies
  13. Crowd heckling Rocky sampled from Rocky movie
  14. Míriam Colón sampled as Georgina Montana (Tony’s mom) from Scarface movie
  15. LL Cool J beat sampled from the song “Mama Said Knock You Out”
  16. John Travolta sampled as Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction movie
  17. Mac OSX VoiceOver sampled as Fred quoting Stephen Hawking from Pink Floyd performing the song “Keep Talking”
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