Sounds Ineffable

Soprano and live computer processing

Duration: 9 min.

Sounds Ineffable sets a text from the Therigatha, a collection of Pali language verses of early female Buddhists. The sounds of the singer are simultaneously stretched out by real time computer processing, creating different copies of the sound progressing at different rates. This process does not include any pre-recorded singing and results not in a delay exactly, but in what would have been called in the European Middle Ages a mensuration canon -- a piece being combined with itself at different speeds. These tempos are related to the original sound by the same integer proportions used in the tuning of the notes, creating resonances both in time, as the sung lines converge and diverge, and in pitch, forming just harmonies with each other. The words, though, dissolve in the paradox of sensory perceptions leading to the insensible.