Is this You?

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Live Music

Here is a video of my sister and two friends performing a live run through of the 1st paragraph:

Where I plan to go from here:
I plan to write a program to count letters, and syllables if I can find a way, otherwise I’ll count those manually.
I will then collaborate with my sister to complete notating the entire song and place the spoken word elements.
My final vision is to have the piece performed live by cello, piano, spoken word reader.

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Typographic Poetry

Paul Chan created a set of fonts that replace each letter with a word – think wingdings, but with more erotic poetry.

I like the way his font allows simultaneous representations of meaning and translates the intended message into a novel one through a combination of intentionality and randomness. I like the method, but It makes me think of how I could alter and enhance it to fit my frame of reference. If I were to make a poem font, I would use less erotic terminology and perhaps choose the words through a method of controlled random selection from a specific data set. I am curious as to whether Chan thought about what types of words (verb, noun, connector, etc) went with what letter and the ratio of types of words in order to create the most coherent phrases.

Big Boat

Read More

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Making Music from Prose

Hey guys, I wrote a song!

Over Turkey break, I took the opportunity to sit down with my sister, who is a music major, and together we made my musical thoughts a reality. I thought a lot about John Cage’s work and about what data I can glean from an English paper, what variables a piece of music has, and how the data can affect those selected variable.

Here are the rules that we came up with:

And here is the sheet music (this is only the first paragraph, which is as far as we got):
Sheet Music

And here is the .ogg file where you can here a rough version of it. I say rough because digitally created strings sound kind of wonky.

If you open the sheet music and the .ogg file in separate windows, you can listen to the music while you read along.

I had a great time collaborating with my sister and she is so excited about the composition that she plans to wrangle up a cellist friend and a pianist friend to see what it sounds like played live. I am excited to hear the results.

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Book Piracy and Publishing?

AND Publishing

“The Piracy Project is not about stealing or forgery. It is about creating a platform to innovatively
explore the spectrum of copying / re-editing / translating / paraphrasing / imitating / re-organising
/ manipulating of already existing works. Here creativity and originality sit not in the borrowed
material itself, but in the way it is handled.”

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Music and Writing

This TED Talk is awesome. She takes data about weather systems and turns it into both sculptural forms and a musical score. Wild.

I want to use an English paper to create a musical composition based on stats from the paper (word length, readability stats, most used words) as a way to structure length, tempo, notes, riffs, etc.) I have no idea how to make this happen, but it sounds pretty cool, right?

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Words Mechanical Turk Likes

The words HITs are slowly trickling in. I’ve only got 6 so far, but I think they hold promise.

Listen to MTurk Words

The words are:
God bless us
Sweet heart
Get Along
God is great

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Late Fall: A Poem by Mechanical Turk

Crowd sourcing is fun, guys.

So for part 2 of my MTurk project, I made 2 HITs. The first one was for people to record themselves saying a word that they found beautiful or sonically pleasing. The results for this are still coming in. The second one was for people to write a single line of poetry about “late Fall” and record themselves reading it. This was a fantastic success!


Listen to “Late Fall”

Late Fall

Yes the time was late Fall
First Snowflake is falling
But it keeps its joys in the late Fall
Fly my leaves, forsake the trees and come unto me
As you hear the sound of rustling leaves, remember it’s me

I also received a longer recording that doesn’t really fit with the others:

Listen to “New Falling Snow”

New white snow falling down here,
My theft heart moon is saturation on it,
It is falling on my untouchable area,
Mind is searching the warm place

I did receive on very nice text written poem about autumn that didn’t do at all what i was asking, but i think I’ll approve anyway because I like it. I feel bad about rejecting people when they send me a blank file or only fill out the text part :( I also got a copied Wikipedia article about the poem “To Autumn” by Keats, haha.

What I would do differently next time:
Pay people more. I paid $.11 for a recorded word and $.2 for a recorded line of poetry. But it ended up taking people a bit longer than I had anticipated to complete the task, so for the poetry, at an ave 8 min 42 sec, the hourly wage ended up being only $1.38. The single word is a little higher, but the statistics for those aren’t yet complete. Alternatively, I could find a way to make recording easier and faster.

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More CrowdSourcing Thoughts

So I keep coming back to the sound piece idea. Aaron Koblin said he used a program written in processing to record the voices for his piece – I wonder if it’s open source?

One idea is to have people just record a word they find beautiful or sonically interesting.
Or a line of a poem. Or an interesting phrase. Or a memory. Or an answer to a specific question.

If it was just words, the words could just play, paced out together.
If it was phrases/sentences/lines, they could be linked to form a sort of poetry.

I think the phrasing of how I make my request is important for getting back poetic responses.

Things holding me back:
-way to record and collect recordings
-how to phrase request to get back poetic results

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“Scary Cat”

Scary Cat : a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson as re-imagined through madlibs filled out by Mechanical Turk workers

Scary Cat, the truck and ram of an Ethiopian tiger,
O you with you fat age, air for the cows on a crunchy hammer,
How often your car has proven but a couch
went back on itself in the penguins of an interesting wrench!

I payed $0.04 for each word contributed.

I want to do this again, but maybe I can engineer it in such a way that the product proves to be more … poetic. There were rather a lot of animal based contributions, as well as common everyday objects. Nouns proved to be the most difficult category, with an average 27 sec to complete and one rejection (they provided a definition instead of a word). The other categories were comparatively much faster with 7 sec being the fastest and an average around 10 sec.

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