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Tellus #22 'False Phonemes' (1988)
Contributing Editor: Ellen Zweig
from the cassette insert:
False phonemes, the impure voice, cybernetic fleshy abstractions, a disembodied voice, the imp in the machine. FALSE PHONEMES is a collection of works by artists who use computer-generated voices with an emphasis on language. It includes works that utilize the most sophisticated linear predictive coding and those that use funky Radio Shack chips; it ranges through gibberish, chant, love song. Music is made not only from language, but also from the incidentals of electronic machine noise. Most of the voices are male as are most of the composers. The most readily available machine voices are male and it is easier to synthesize the contours of the male voice. But three of the pieces in this anthology (Rudolph, Sheilds, Lansky) do use female voices. I'm looking forward to a time when there are more. In spite of this lack, here is language singing, revealing hidden rhythms and melodies; here is out talking made distant from us, our mirror-image voice.
Brain's secret convulsions making muscles articulate, shaking the world with a song now lost to us except perhaps in laughter, giving birth at last to a duality of sound and meaning. . . . No longer are we aware that as we speak our voices rise and fall, following the deeper contours of speech melodies that prefigure our sense and our meanings. . . . The whistles of the birds in our nose, the creaking door which closes a phrase, the measured pause preceeding a two-beat putdown all underly the choice and order of our words. These are the ghosts in grammar's basement.
-Paul De Marinis
Engineered by Brenda Hutchinson at Studio PASS. NYC, 1988. Publishers/Editors: Claudia Gould, Joseph Nechvatal, Carol Parkinson. Assistant Editor: Debbie McBride. Assistant: Charles S. Russell. Contributing Editor for this issue: Ellen Zweig.
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