Poetry and punk music are unusual companions, but for former punk rock artist Lorenzo Bühne, the poetry of New Zealand has been the springboard to his assimilating into another culture and assuming a new cultural identity.
He was born in Naples, Italy and immigrated to Australia as a teenager. He worked as a professional musician throughout the 1970’s and then moved to Los Angeles where, throughout the 1980’s he toured, performed and composed for a wide variety of styles. He has enjoyed being on the charts in countries as diverse as Argentina and England, and has had the opportunity to travel and perform throughout the world. Coined by Billboard Magazine as "the clown prince of punk," and the “four string wizard” by the Rough Guide to Punk, Lorenzo made a name for himself in the U.S. and Europe playing with legendary hard-core band ‘FEAR’ and veteran pop-punkers ‘The Dickies’. After he moved to Wellington in 2003, Lorenzo made an audacious volte-face by releasing two albums of traditional and contemporary Italian music – ‘Sotto Sopra’ in 2005 and ‘Buon Giorno’ in 2008. Throughout this time he performed regularly with his folk ensemble, ‘Lorenzo e La Cura’.
I do wonder what Allen Curnow would think about his famous poem Wild Iron set to music in this way? Bill Manhire wouldn't have trouble with his two poems included as he is used to musical adaptions of his work.
I must say I played the CD, and followed along with the words from the book, several times and it grew on me each time. Not surprisingly some of the musical treatments appealed to me more than others.