- 1 Neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott on the voice and emotion
- 2 Beckett and the Disembodied Voice
- 3 Lawrence Abu Hamdan, artist and writer on the political uses of voice analysis;
- 4 Rorschach Audio, Joe Banks
Neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott on the voice and emotion
- We aren't very good at knowing where our body is in space - proprioception - the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement - we need more than one cue to figure this out
- video of CT scan of someone making WEEWWOOWEEWOO sounds. the tongue involuntarily contracts although only the larynx is producing the sound - example of our poor proprioception
- speech is very complex - interaction of vocal chords - we were shown terrifying video of vocal cords contracting / modal voice
- scott's experiments with delayed auditory feedback - 200 milliseconds (the length of a syllable)
- experiment in which readers received delayed auditory feedback (DAF) produced disfluency in the readers
- they decided to scan people who did not get disfluency with DAF and continued reading even with DAF (otherwise if they stopped then the scan of people talking would not be a scan of talking) - joke: she ended up getting a lot of vicars and teachers, seems they have a knack for continuing to speak even with no feedback and lots of noise
- conditions of perceptual difficulty
- auditory areas are recruited to help speech production
- voice change - performance of impressions
- safe as if you made speech production harder
- impressions = thinking of sound of voice
- impressions = body language, eyes, big eyes, making a face like the person, pushing the effort of the voice - towards the back of the throat? flared nosrils?
- beatboxers who are able to make more than one sound in their mouths and larynx in the same time.
- laughing = losing control of speech / glottal whistle / rise in pitch - cricket commentators who start laughing about a joke increase in a few pitches from being manly deep-voiced men to highpitched wheezing
- how funny that we continue to laugh. but if its gross we only go UGH once. we dont go UGH UGH UGH UGHHH the same way we might go HA HAHAHAHAHAHAH for a long while.
- in a fight between laughing and breathing, laughing wins
- Everyone finds the recording of Charlotte Green cracking up very funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKBWsy5A2bA
Beckett and the Disembodied Voice
- Speaker (RCA prof?) did a prac crit of beckett's "Not I" in relation to the disembodied voice
- Samuel Beckett's Pas Moi / Not I (1973) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4LDwfKxr-M
- Not I takes place in a pitch-black space illuminated only by a single beam of light. This spotlight fixes on an actress's mouth about eight feet above the stage, everything else being blacked out. Even the face around the mouth is blacked out.
- The version we watched was Billie Whitelaw's mouth. Beckett being a control freak was unhappy with the results with Whitelaw using a teleprompter - apparently too slow. In the end she was forced to learn the entire script. Reports of it being a scene of great physical tension for the actress who basically collapsed into a heap after each performance.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, artist and writer on the political uses of voice analysis;
- Aural Contract audio archive - a tracklist (systems of simultaneous trasmutation / forensic listening)
- Contemporary politics of listening - site in which a voice is heard, what is the necessity of announcing the law, why only after it is heard can it be said to take effect?
- United States - Supreme Court OYEZ OYEZ OYEZ - an judicial amplifier?
- OYEZ = The interjection is also traditionally used by town criers to attract the attention of the public to public proclamations
- what about the voice allows one to ENACT justice?
- fanatical typists - testing their word per minute - a group which meets up to test their speeds on court transcripts - different systems of Stenography
- Stenographers - the interview lawrence did after with "richard" one of the stenographers - he reports that in order to do his job he has to enter a special zone - removing himself from the subject - no meaning, just thinking of another architectural features - blocking out the meaning in the process of recording but only recording the phoemes - the tension between speech and sound / speech and language / splitting of speech and sound (this reminds me of Sophie's talk about how people deal with delayed speech feedback by becoming flatter)
- Recent developments in UK: No more stenography in UK today in legal system. now they record and outsource it to india to be transcribed! What is happening to the legal voice? What is happening to british law then? What is India's relationship with UK and the judiciary? Who are we testifying to then?
- Outsourcing voices. Telemarketers who have been outsourced. Indian Call centres in australia. Man who demands the name of his prime minister to indian call worker. Belonging to different jurisdiction. Who is the voice accountable to? Citizenship test.
- Audio Documentary - "The freedom of speech itself" - http://www.forensic-architecture.org/exhibitions/aural-contract-2/
- Accent Test - Language analysis testing of asylum applicants - why does a specific sound define syrian citizenship - See https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/257177/language-analysis.pdf
- The way of saying tomato... was used to test for palestinian / lebanon
- The right to silence / Miranda Rights / the right to avoid being misheard? minute shifts in accent have terrible impacts on people's lives - political interventions on OUR speech
- Gagging monologue recordings - the sonic quality of speech - the laws of listening?
- Not just about the right to speak freely but to be heard properly under the right conditions - a contract of listening
- James Bridle did a project about transcription factories and the discrepancies - is there slippage of language and meaning - inaudibles
Language analysis testing of asylum applicants
In the course of piloting LA in the UK, LA was routinely permitted for applicants claiming to be Afghan, Eritrean, Kuwaiti, Palestinian and Somali, for whom Removal and Return Agreements (RRA) were available (but only where there was no Eurodac hit). (Eurodac is a large database of fingerprints of applicants for asylum and illegal immigrants found within the EU) Other nationalities were language tested, but only where it was strongly suspected the applicant had claimed a false identity. Such suspicions might arise from the individual providing contradictory documentation, statements or evidence, where they cannot speak the primary language (or are inconsistent in that tongue) and if they have a lack of knowledge about their claimed nationality. Independent pilots on LA were also conducted by Greece, Ireland, Malta and Turkey.
The UK Border Agency used LA as part of a range of tools to combat those who seek to abuse the asylum system
LA has historically been carried out for the UK Border Agency by Sprakab, a Swedish company that has carried out over 40,000 LA reports in ten years of existence. The interview is carried out over the telephone with a Sprakab analyst who speaks the language of the country for which the applicant claims to be a national. The 20- to 30-minute interview is recorded and the applicant is asked a variety of questions designed to obtain information that will help the analyst make a judgement. A preliminary result is communicated to the UK Border Agency within 15 minutes and a written report and transliteration is available at a later date (usually in electronic form within 72 hours with a hard copy to follow). The language report will include a detailed analysis of phonological, morphological and lexical phenomena. If there are doubts about the country of origin a second linguist will review the interview. The analyst‘s experience and qualifications are also included in the report.
The final report from Sprakab gives five possible outcomes relating to the country/area the applicant claims to be from.
- Applicant speaks language X found with certainty not in the country/area they claim to be from.
- Applicant speaks language X found with certainty in the country/area.
- Applicant speaks language X found most likely in the country/area.
- Applicant speaks language X found likely in the country/area.
- Applicant speaks language X found possibly in the country/area.
The report will also state the extent of the applicant‘s knowledge of the country, culture and habits. The next stage of the process is the substantive interview with the applicant where any inconsistencies in the LA are put to them and applicants have an opportunity to explain these. This aids the case owner to make an initial decision and LA may be used in any appeals that are made later on.
"Given the current (2011) geopolitical situation in some parts of the Middle East there is a risk that a growing number of asylum seekers may move across Europe towards the UK. Having LA available if this happens could act as a useful tool for case owners to use in cases where an applicant‘s nationality is believed to be in question, and may also help to identify or deter nationality swapping."
- off the record thoughts - could it be that Sprakab was selected because it would produce the highest amount of rejection rates and the point of LA testing was to increase rejection rates of asylum seekers?
Rorschach Audio, Joe Banks
- (Scripted lecture)
- It can be argued that speech is a symbolic representation of individual sounds - so the earliest form of recording sound was written language rather than recordings - so written language is in a way, a kind of sound art too
Illusions of thunder
- From http://rorschachaudio.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/stealing-my-thunder/: "As regards specifically British history, the theatrical historian Robert Mott describes how since as long ago as “Shakespearian days” a “popular” method for simulating thunder sounds in theatre involved using “a cannon-ball rolling down a trough and falling onto a huge drum”. Robert Mott states that “some people were not pleased with this cumbersome technique”, so, in 1708, the theatre critic and dramatist John Dennis designed a thunder effect for his play “Appius & Virginia” at Drury Lane. John Dennis “invented something more realistic and controllable – a large piece of thin copper sheeting suspended from a frame by wires”. “The thunder sheet was a great success, and as a result other stage productions began using his effect. This infuriated Dennis to the point where he would angrily confront the offending producer by charging ‘you, Sir, are stealing my thunder!’.” Dennis is also said to have stated that “that is my thunder, by God; the villains will play my thunder, but not my play”.
Electronic Voice Phenomenon
- Electronic voice phenomenon - unfortunate that Tesla and Marconi claimed before the war to have received mysterious signals so people say it must exist (it is all down to what you want to believe though)
- EVP begins in 1957 when Friedrich Jurgenson, a Swedish film producer, thought that he discovered voices in the recording of a documentary, even though no one else was around during the recording session. One of the voices was apparently that of his deceased mother who called him by a nickname known only by her. After hearing that, he went on to record for many more years and studied the phenomenon with great enthusiasm.
- Reminds me of a BBC documentary about EVP that i heard a few years ago: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rg1gh
- Tape based nature - if you played with tapes you will know that forgery - so easy to fake
- Low fidelity mystic = MORE BELIEVABLE? = ghostly origin (poor evidence, hence more believable = resulting in suspension of disbelief)
- Raudive Voices - Konstantīns Raudive
- See also Oliver Sacks - Seeing Voices
- McGurk effect - The visual information a person gets from seeing a person speak changes the way they hear the sound
- Diana Deutsch - audio illusions - sea of noises, babel
- i heard TIME TIME TIME TEN TIME TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TIME TIME PLAY IT BACK PLAY IT BACK GIMME BACK GIMMEBACK PLAYING TIME PLAYING TIME PLAYING TIME
- 3 behaviours manifested by listening - it is not drifting (or is it?) / words not fully formed so you constantly want to figure it out / someone whispering in your ear texture (only works with long exposure to the sound)
- shared / objectivity / illusion of science
- projections stick on to illusions of sounds
- Albert Bregman - Picket Fence Effect - Phonemic restoration effect - Phonemic restoration effect is a perceptual phenomenon where under certain conditions, sounds actually missing from a speech signal can be hallucinated by the brain and clearly heard. The effect occurs when missing phonemes in an auditory signal are replaced with white noise, resulting in the brain filling in absent phonemes.
- Perceptual Learning of Vocoded Speech - MRC Institute of Hearing Research + Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit - She irons her skirt / The Police returned to the museum - we can hear from vocoder speech
- EVP - like a seance - you ask HELLO ARE YOU THERE and wait 45 min for an answer, depends on the imagination, also using polyglot (yeah right) compound words made up
- Gee whiz now I want to make a song entirely from vocal sounds like Deutsch's things + ASMR sounds. CRISPY SOUNDS.
Audio and 3d space
- people with only one eye can see everything
- which direction is it rotating
- joe banks at kettleyard