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Michael Vander Does

Film/Video, Jazz, Fiction , Non-fiction, Poetry, Literary Arts, Modern

I am a multi/cross-disciplinary artist working primarily in literature, music, audio, and video. Much of my work has been focused on JazzPoetry. Together with The JazzPoetry Ensemble, we have honed this form to a truly hybrid and exciting performance art. The spoken voice is an instrument in the band and solos, defines rhythms, and adds harmonies. The words make the music more accessible and the music adds new depths of meaning to the words. Even when my writing is not necessarily appropriate for performance, it is informed by the sounds and structures of jazz.

Jazz and poetry also inform my film-making. Presenting poetry in film/video is a complex thing. In over 40 years of attempting and approaching this concept I have given up on the use of metaphoric imagery. For me, the poem must be the primary content. Technique is my way of enhancing, explicating, and expanding the poem’s meaning, rhythms, and intention. Scientific concepts loom large in my poetry and technique reinforces them in ways I do not believe I could achieve through metaphoric imagery or special effects. I rely on the cinematographer to achieve this during shooting and I take the lead during edit.

Community is central to my work and I have spent most of career using my skills for the betterment of my community. From social commentary in my work to presenting other artists to creating arts programs, I have shared my love and enthusiasm freely around Columbus.

Michael Vander Does


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