THIRD ABC IN SOUND by Bob Cobbing
A4, 30 pages, Black & white printing, Unbound, Housed in card box, 2018
Bob Cobbing’s seminal ABC in Sound(now available from Veer with a new introduction by Robert Sheppard) was to have been followed by a second ABC from Fulcrum in the early 1970s, but was dispersed and partially recycled after that press’s demise. This Third ABC in Soundwas not produced till 30 years later, being completed in April 2000, and by then Cobbing’s work had become as much visual as sound poetry. The letters in this astonishing sequence may be bold, blurred, torqued or playfully elusive, their interactions with their context structured or spontaneous, enhanced by a skilful deployment of texture and depth. Interviewed by Steven Ross Smith in 1998 Cobbing said “ ... mostly when I’m doing something I don’t have sound in mind. Sound is something that comes later”, but, probably the finest of his last projects, the 3rdABCoffers itself to both visual interpretation and sound performance as provocatively as ever.