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Movement in the Middle of Warm Water [disquiet0057-phonemetransmit]

echosonic on February 04, 2013 13:56

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    Disquiet Junto Project 0057: Phoneme Transmit


    This is a shared-sample project. It focuses on language and emotion. 

You are being provided with three audio recordings from the Phonetics Lab Archive at UCLA. As the lab's webpage (at explains, "The materials on this site comprise audio recordings illustrating phonetic structures from over 200 languages."

    You will use these three MP3s as source material for the project. They are from the languages Buryat, Navajo, and Zulu.


    From each of these three language-specific MP3s you will select four words. (Don't use the voice of the technician, who is occasionally heard.)

    From this total of 12 words you will, through cut and paste, construct new sentences. These nonsense sentences will serve as the a cappella vocal of a new song.

    All literal meaning is lost in the process; all that is left are emotions. 

Your piece should consist of three parts, each of equal length. The first part should sound "angry." The second part should sound "very silent, vulnerable." The third part should sound "happy, exultant."


No other sounds or instruments should be used. You can pitch, stretch, or process the source audio as you please, but it should always sound like someone trying to say something.


    Difficult this week for some reason and running out of time, I simply posted a WIP.

    Twelve words semi-randomly were chosen that fit the brief for "angry", "vulnerable/silent" and "exultant" and these were thrown into Ableton Live. I'm not terribly pleased with my concept to be honest: words as rhythm is not a novel idea and then I simply scored some suitable melodic content using granular synthesis with the words as the source material and the emotional cues as guidance.


    Photograph: @echosonic

    This project was developed for the Disquiet Junto by Michel Banabila (

    The source audio is from the UCLA Phonetics Lab Archive

    More on this #57th Disquiet Junto project at:

    More details on the Disquiet Junto at: Disquiet Junto

    "Movement in the Middle of Warm Water [disquiet0057-phonemetransmit]" by echosonic is licensed under a Creative Commons License


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