Here’s something for the readers amongst you. “William S. Burroughs & Brion Gysin” is brand new vinyl release on Cold Spring Records holding rare recordings of beat/cut-up writers and artists William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. The release comprises the complete recording of Burroughs reading live in Liverpool in 1982, plus performances by Gysin of a selection of his poems, as well as home recordings made by the pair in Paris in 1970.
All recordings present on this release are taken from original tapes in the British Library collection. The release is officially licensed from the British Library, The Estate of William S Burroughs, and The Estate of Brion Gysin.
About William S. Burroughs
William Seward Burroughs II as he was really named, (1914 – 1997) was an American writer and visual artist, credited as a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodern author who influenced popular culture and literature. Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. A further five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences.
He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians and made many appearances in films. He was also briefly known by the pen name William Lee. Burroughs created and exhibited thousands of paintings and other visual artworks, including his celebrated ‘Shotgun Art’. Burroughs’ last filmed performance was in the music video for “Last Night on Earth” by U2, filmed in Kansas City, Missouri, directed by Richie Smyth and also featuring Sophie Dahl.
Despite being a fan of a right-wing columnist, many in his entourage such as Genesis P-Orridge and Al Jourgensen are notable for far-left, anti-capitalist, and anti-fascist politics. He was also a fan of the left-wing Dadaist movement. His overall views can generally be seen as anti-establishment, anti-conditioning, and anti-control.
For the rest Burroughs led a turbulent life to say the least…
About Brion Gysin
Brion Gysin (1916 – 1986) was a painter, writer, sound poet, performance artist and inventor of experimental devices born in Taplow, Buckinghamshire.
He is best known for his use of the cut-up technique, alongside his close friend, the novelist William S. Burroughs. With the engineer Ian Sommerville he also invented the Dreamachine, a flicker device designed as an art object to be viewed with the eyes closed. It was in painting and drawing, however, that Gysin devoted his greatest efforts, creating calligraphic works inspired by cursive Japanese “grass” script and Arabic script.
Burroughs later stated that “Brion Gysin was the only man I ever respected.”
Also Gysin had a life full of experiences including being expelled from the Surrealist Group by André Breton.
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