Work in progress, as shown at the Work in Progress Show 2014 of School of Communication at the Royal College of Art 22-26/01/2014.
As I’m always interested in the materialisation and the translation of language, and specifically speech, into different mediums, this (unfinished) piece started from how speech is related to music. Inspiration and research comes from the avant-garde Fluxus movement of the 60’s, the book ‘Notations 21’ by Theresa Sauer with unusual musical scores, Theo van Leeuwen’s book ‘Speech, Music, Sound’ and Roland Barthes’s essay ‘The grain of the Voice’.
Our lips shape words coming out of our mouths, a part of our body that performs language. According to Barthes this could be the ‘grain of the voice’, the in-between space of language and voice. This piece studies the movements of the lips when talking and annotates each movement on a simple musical instrument I have invented for the purposes of the project. Then each movement is played by a piece of string. A musical score explains when exactly in the video each one of the movements is heard. The sound is then synced back to the video footage in order to test if the music been performed has the actual rhythm of the phrase being told. The phrase is: “If movement shapes speech and speech is mankind’s first music, then movement can be said to create music too.”
At the WiP show were showcased:
- the video
- the musical instrument ’ completed’ with each one round of string representing one movement of the lips
- a musical instrument without any strings