Cloud Crowd Found Sound - Call for words

I so much enjoyed collaborating with nine other voices to make New Muses for a Post Human Age that I have been musing (so to speak) over what else I could do that would be similar but not too similar... and I have finally hit on this.

So what is the idea?  Well...  in music there is the idea of Voice as Instrument which gets away from singing words with meanings and instead treats the voice more like an infinitely flexible clarinet.

A striking example of such an approach is Karl Jenkins' Adiemus.  People think this is Latin: it is not, it is nonsense words constructed for no purpose except to sound right in the music.  If you wish, this is not "a song", it is a musical piece that uses the human voice as solo and harmonising instruments.

So the concept I have been toying with is similar, but changing relation between voice and poetry, rather than voice and music.  I'm intending to get a load of voice samples, and use them as rhythmic and sonic compositional elements without regard for the meaning.

Possibly this is more voice as percussion rather than instrument, except nothing like beatboxing because that would be deeply embarrassing.  Or possibly this is poetry stripped of meaning, the same way that an instrumental could be thought of a song stripped of words, but remaining an artwork.

Another idea you might like to consider is of mixing desk as instrument, or maybe multitrack recording as composition tool...

So what do I want?

Please send me a recording of your own voice speaking 5 or 10 nonsense words.

Please also send them written down so I can write out the "lyrics" if required.

Please consider your tone of voice when recording.  Choose a mood for your words: if you think you have angry words, use an angry voice; if they are small and frightened, think like a scared child while recording.  The more your words stand out in style, the more they will stand out in the finished work


Q. Should the words form a "sentence"?

A. Yes please!  The reason being I won't be able to build convincing sentences from individual words (without sounding like a terrible sat-nav) but I can somewhat split a sentence into single words.  However do whichever best suits your words...

Q. Can I swear?

A. If you think your made-up words are swearing and can put that in your voice, sure!  Bring it on.  (But please don't everyone do this, I need variety...)

Q. Will you use all the words you get?

A. No idea!  Depends how many I get and how the composition pans out.  Unless I get hundreds and hundreds, I will try to use at least one word from everybody who contributes.

Q. So there will be no meaningful words in this?

A. Not as an initial objective.  If I feel it cries out for some sentences added in places then I'll add them.  Those won't be the main point of the work, however...

Q. I have a horror of being made to sound like a mouse on Helium, will you be manipulating the voices?

A. Again I don't know.  I might adjust speed and obviously timing and repetition will be important.  I may add echoes and reverb.  If I do more than that it will probably be more subtle, such as adding a slight chorus behind your original voice.

Q. So what's in it for me?

A. No money.  Strictly limited fame.  Possible notoriety.  I will credit everyone whose voice I use and link some suitable website that you give me.

Q. I'm in!  How do I record myself.

A. Just use whatever phone or computer app you have around.  Try to avoid background noise.  Try to use a medium sized non-echoey room.

Q. I'm also in!  What format do you want?

A. Whatever you can create.

Q. Count me in too!  How do I send it?

A. If you are privileged to know my email, then that's good.

A. You can message me on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IanBadcoePoetry/

A. You can message me on Twitter: @IanBadcoe

A. You can record the message, forget about it, find it later, copy it to a USB key and then accidentally leave it in a bus shelter during a thunderstorm -- response time may be longer on this one...

A. If you use google drive or dropbox or something like that, then you can put the recording in there, share it,  and just send me the URL by one of these other methods.

Q. What will this piece be about?

A. Thraxty drevfel hemophrogous delanqui

A. Or possibly string.

Q. What does "FAQ" stand for?

A. Go back to the 90s and do them again.


  1. This sounds so cool, Ian! Do you have a deadline or a general window of when you want these?

    1. Sorry Mary, Blogger have stopped mailing me when somebody comments on the blog... No, there is no deadline, I am about to post a first attempt but I hope that will encourager more contributions and I'll do another one using those and also hopefully encorporating what I learned from doing the first...