London, UK’s Ashley Reaks sets Sylvie’s spoken-word to jazz/blues grooves

Check out London, UK artist Ashley Reak‘s mix of my spoken-word poem, “The Gentle Art of Ignoring” off his new upcoming album, “Growth Spurts.”


“‘The Gentle Art Of Ignoring‘ incorporates freestyle jazz sax and piano which might otherwise have you reaching for the Valium but with the masterstroke addition of words from Sylvie Hill makes it one of the many highlights.” Louder Than War Review

“‘The Gentle Art of Ignoring’ with Sylvie Hill is the most outright jazz track on the album, and her sassy vocal delivery and confident Canadian accent brings another sharp dimension to an album which displays almost infinite dimensions, but there’s just so much to take in.” Read review.

“…whilst elsewhere there’s some nifty and smoky chamber lounge jazz grooving through the Laurie Anderson playing tag with John Lurie and James Chance like ‘the gentle art of ignoring’.” Read review.

The Gentle Art of Ignoring

On your marks!
Get set!

Race to ignore the traffic sounds
Beneath, in the streets and reach toward
The landscape beyond, fight to see trees
Or squint and see the heritage houses covered in ivy!

It is not a gentle art to “ignore”:
It is VIOLENT and takes energy
To divert our thoughts, beliefs, bodies
Beyond the reality of these NOISY fucking cities!

On your marks!
Get set!

Bolt to Nature, for what is “natural” is indeed
Where you notice your body retreating
RELAXING, your body and being floating
A branch scratches calves, humbling with its markings.

GO! Buy that boat you’ll only use sparingly!
GO! Get the tent you’ll use only at vacation!
GO! Purchase hiking boots, which replaces therapy!
GO! Spend gas to get peace that’s temporary!

On your marks!
Get set!

The Man in the Suit has won “his place” in City
By devastating his nature and his being
He expends efforts, sweats violent urges
Covers up his wish to surrender…

Because can you really enjoy a thunderstorm?
You hear it.
Or the hot sun heating your skin
You feel it.
Or the long Canadian winter
It depressed us.
You can pump your paddle & fight the current
Upstream, but you’ll never win.

Nature – the forests, deserts and our ecosystems within
is where we rage our harshest devastations.
Rumi says we’ve got a voice inside with no words, do you listen?
Sorry, what did you just say? Too busy fighting
Modernity, Technology, the Traffic outside my building,
promising “an investment” for me in what – my insanity?

See the man with the hands down on ground
Trying to feel the Earth, dirt, create roots somehow
But his position is back-breaking in spite of his class
He is on his mark, set and ready to take it up the ass.

Humans may have evolved to stand up right
But they are Devastators, few are getting it right.
The trees though, they stand tall and straight
Until a natural, noble force breaks them.

Or until Human Devastators cut them down
Much like they’re doing to themselves right about now …
Fighting so hard to ignore the sounds, a shout

Get me out.
I’m clawing my way out.
Thought I had evolved
But I can only grow if I crawl now.

© Sylvie Hill 2014

This poem was coupled with Juan Carlos Noria’s (dixon) painting – “Devastator” / 40x40cm / spray paint and synthetic enamel on canvas / 2010. It didn’t make it into Russell Square Station: Mine the trash (2015), but it was the thread into a different focus beyond the one-night stands and desperate connections inspired by London, UK muses.