Dada in the Cabaret Voltaire  (From the diary of Hugo Ball, June 23, 1916)

I have invented a new species of Verses, “Verse Without Words” or Sound-poems … I read the first of these verses this evening.  I had come up with a special costume for the event.  My legs stood in pillar out of a shiny blue cardboard, a slender pillar which reached up to my waist, so that I looked like an obelisk.  Over that I wore a giant collar-cloak cut out of cardboard, that was decorated inside in scarlet red and outside with gold, fastened at the neck in such a way that by moving my elbows I could move it up and down like wings.  In addition a cylinder-like, high, white and blue striped shaman’s (sorcerer’s) hat …

Everyone was curious.  So, because as a pillar I could not walk, I had myself carried to the pedestal and began to recite slowly and solemnly:

Gadji beri bimba
Glandridi lauli lonni cadori
Gadjama bim beri glassala
Glandridi glassala tuffm I zimbrabim
Blassa galassasa tuffm I zimbrabim …

But how was I to bring it to a conclusion?  Then I noticed that my voice, which had no other way out, took on the age-old cadence of priestly lamentation, that style of religious chant that is heard moaning in all the catholic churches of the West and the East.
I don’t know what suggested this music to me.  But I began to sing my series of vowels in a recitative-manner in church-style and tried to not only to stay serious, but also to force seriousness out of me …