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“Language” (Used 3 times)

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jacksonmoore on 03/14/2015 at 05:16AM

A Musical Language

Moss is a musical pidgin language.  Pidgin languages are contact languages - rudimentary languages that are cobbled together whenever two populations that don't share a language meet for the first time.  They are extremely simple.  They are practical to learn.  So they're a little different from natural languages - you can't really make a language, but if you have no choice, you can make a pidgin.  Moss has 120 words, each of which is a basic 2-to-4 note melodic shape.

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miscellaniac on 04/11/2012 at 03:30PM

National Library Week - Rejoice!

You know that friend who decides to celebrate her birthday for an entire week?  Forcing you to run yourself ragged going to 18 different events and parties all in the name of advancing one more year?  Well, imagine instead that this friend is the library.  And instead of being a nuisance, it is something to be celebrated with no obligations whatsoever.  Yes, what I am trying to say is that it is National Library Week 2012!  Almost every day this week celebrates a different aspect of libraries and their many public services.  Today happens to be National Bookmobile Day.  So, go out and hug your neighborhood bookmobile!

And so, in honor of National Library Week, I would like to honor the Free Music Archive for being a shining example of the potential of (not just interactive digital libraries) but libraries and archives everywhere.  Here, here!  This National Library Week Mix features selections from the FMA that thematically apply to books, reading, language, literature, and information.  Of course there is so much more to libraries than these things, but hey, they fit thematically.

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andrewcsmith on 06/21/2010 at 09:00AM

Language is the mechanism

Kenneth Gaburo

Kenneth Gaburo looked at language and music and saw enough commonalities and crosstalk to render the distinction inadequate. The two categories of communication and expression are indistinguishable in their root—the voice—and so why bother with reinforcing the divergence?

The two artists added to the FMA this morning—Larry Polansky, a composer/programmer/performer/theorist, and Chris Mann, a composer/poet/performer/linguist—both took different (but clearly related) concepts from Gaburo. Polansky often works on the level of musical systems and probabilities; the example below, "Simple Actions/Rules of Compossibility," is for a performer and computer, but the person controlling the computer has very little involvement in specific events. It is rather the systems that are being controlled, so that the changes are not to the details but rather they are on a higher level. Of course, the changes manifest themselves on the lower level—this is language—and it is these changes that are heard in the recording below. I'm leaving out an absurd amount of information here, but luckily Larry's kind enough to just put many of his recordings up on his site. He also often works with harmonic series-derived tunings, gamelan, and rode the Amiga wave the first time around. 

"Simple Actions/Rules of Compossibility" is presented here in a recording by Larry Polansky and Chris Mann, who reads a part of his long text Tuesday called "Rules of Compossibility." In this, the Amiga is essentially a responsive instrument to the sounds that it takes as input, so Mann's text is treated by the computer as sound. Yet, rather than just sound poetry, concerned with sound as its object (and stripping away a large degree of referential meaning from the text), Mann uses language as the "mechanism whereby you understand what I'm thinking better than I do (where I is defined by those changes for which I is required)." In other words (if it is possible to say the same thing in other words) language does not communicate; language reveals. Mann's text "notes (on the user as software)" is just one of the many hours of recordings he has available on his site. I've featured the first part here, but the whole thing works out to about a half hour.

Larry Polansky and Chris Mann will both be at ISSUE on Tuesday evening to talk about the work of Kenneth Gaburo, and to give performances, along with the composer and theorist David Dunn (who played last night). Facilitating the conversation will be the trumpeter Nate Wooley, so just for fun I've added some of his music to the playlist below.

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