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William S Burroughs and Brion Gysin: The Spoken Word (audio CD)

Published Date:
July 2012
The British Library
Bibliographic Details:
Audio CD with booklet, running time: 66 minutes
William S Burroughs, Brion Gysin
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This rare collection of recordings features the controversial American writer William S Burroughs (author of The Naked Lunch) and the British-born artist Brion Gysin - the man Burroughs credited with the invention of the 'cut-up' literary technique.

The centre-piece of the collection is a complete, previously unissued recording of Burroughs reading live in Liverpool in 1982 (tracks 2-10). The disc also includes performances by Gysin of a selection of his 'permutated poems', and previously unheard home recordings made by the pair in Paris in 1970, all taken from tapes in the British Library collection.

This CD is part of the British Library’s highly acclaimed ‘Spoken Word’ series of historic recordings.

Listen to sample tracks
William S Burroughs recorded live in Liverpool, 1982
Brion Gysin reads his permulated poem ‘No Poets Don’t Own Words’

Track listing
1 The Beginning is also the End (excerpt) c.1963
Speaker: William S Burroughs
Duration: 1.20

2-10 Reading at the Centre Hotel, Liverpool (5.10.1982)
Speaker: William S Burroughs
Duration: 42.18

11 Cut-Ups Self-Explained (c.1960-1962)
Speaker: Brion Gysin
Duration: 3.50

12 I Am this Painter Brion Gysin (c.1960-1962)
Speaker: Brion Gysin
Duration: 2.05

13-18 Pistol Poem
I've Come to Free the Words
No Poets Don't Own Words
Calling All Reactive Agents
Junk is No Good Baby
Kick That Habit Man
Speaker: Brion Gysin
Date of recording(s): 1960-1962 Duration: 10.00

19 I Am That I Am (1962)
Speaker: Brion Gysin
Duration: 3.05

20-22 Invisible Art (three versions recorded 22.03.1970)
Speaker: William S Burroughs
Duration: 2.40

23 'Silky supple mirrors to be folded...' (22.03.1970)
Speaker: Brion Gysin
Duration: 1.00

`Impressive archival collection. Features the pair's tape experiments from Paris in 1970, Gysin poems and a Burroughs performance from Liverpool in 1982, which finds him in impressively resonant voice...'

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