In music the voice may be perceived in three different ways: (1) Clearly articulate and intelligible, so that those with fluency of the language can easily comprehend the text and its meaning. (2) Novel, abstract effects void of syntactic meaning. These could be non-word effects like coughing, sneezing, snorting, shushing, or non-sense. (3) Ambiguous and largely unintelligible such that the language is unidentifiable, and phrases are similar to hearing a foreign language and not understanding any of the vocabulary. Through the course of this quarter we will examine ways different composers have retained expressive communication in vocal music despite specific meaning becoming illusive. Here, we will look at the manipulations to the character or quality of sound/speech. Such manipulations are related to each musical component of the voice including pitch, rhythm, phrasing, timbre, and speed. We will seek a multidisciplinary approach to create and deconstructing language, as well as attempting to utilize new technologies for added individual expression and new forms of musical communication.
Language Lost is ideally suited for those with some cursory knowledge of music (particularly composition, electronic music, or contemporary performance), linguistics, modern literature, and/or fine arts. However, no specific experience is required. Students of various disciplines are welcome and will add to our lively discussions, contributing unique and valuable perspectives. If you have any questions as to whether your skills and experience are appropriate for this course, please feel free to contact the instructor (firstname.lastname@example.org).