Told vs. Knowing

From birth to 17
I was told every day
that I was worthless.
I knew better,
but I couldn’t tell.

I had no choice
but to take it
at face value
with the part of me
that spoke.

The other part
stayed silent.
As I grew, my thoughts
turned suicidal,
as they often still are.

The part of me
beneath my thoughts
knows better.

Playing Sax

I call myself a Harmolodic improviser working with words and music. This word was coined by jazz musician Ornette Coleman, one of my teachers. It is a whimsical neologism for an intuitive process which is beyond words, and it is used almost exclusively by Coleman and his associates.

Go to Music

Typing Poetry

“Allan Andre sits in front of a little black typewriter, his fingers dancing to the rhythm of youth that encapsulates Union Square. People watch in awe as his fingers move rapidly across the keys, inking life onto the blank page before him. Minutes later, a fresh poem is born.

Over the last six years, the 26-year-old street poet has composed more than 5,000 pieces throughout his career in New York City, often between Union Square and Penn Station. Occasionally, he asks people to share what’s on their mind. Other times, he tries to gauge their emotions simply through their presence while he listens for non-verbal cues. His poems are eccentric and cleverly strung together, often surprising his customers with abstract, sometimes personal details.” ~Carissa Gan

View Poetry

Playing Guitar

Traditional European music has a hierarchy of harmony, melody, and rhythm, in that order. Traditional African music runs in the opposite order: rhythm supercedes melody, with harmony as a distant third concern. The meeting of these two traditions in the United States created a restless music that swings back and forth between dense rhythms and dense harmonies, with melody often serving as the mediator.

Hear Music

Allan Adre-87-ExpI am, most basically, a bard. My life is dedicated to lyrical improvisation, and my instruments of choice are the guitar, saxophone, piano, voice, and typewriter. I am a professional busker, and I will come to your event and create poems or music on the spot. I have a passion for bringing the intuitive calm of the lyric mind into environments of everyday confusion like the street, the office, or the party.

Please check out the pages within for more about my typing, my story, and other angles. To book an event, please email me or use the event request form.

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