This assignment was to be executed in a group of 2 people. Me and José Vega-Cebrián (Sejo) created a a short sound piece inspired by Octavia Butler’s short story “Bloodchild.” The story curve of this short story was mapped to create a framework for the sound piece.

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I created this illustration to represent our sound piece

The sound piece

Kocanlah adatv nhita is an audio piece meant to be played from an interactive children’s book with extraterrestrial textures in its pages. A poem in a non-existent language is read along with some sound effects. Its purpose is to ignite the readers’ imagination making them wonder about the succession of events and emotions, based on the vocal performances and soundscapes. It will widen one’s power of thinking and the child can contribute to the poem by writing down or drawing their interpretations.  There will be scope for the child to put in his/her interpretation on each part of the poem.

The process

  • We divided the story into various sections. These sections became a part of the poem which we created later.

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  • Later we created the lyrics for the poem by creating an alien language. We tried to create this alien poem having its origins from Marathi and Spanish.
  • Then, we defined a text-creation strategy based in three stages:
    1. Each one of us wrote some sentences around each section’s title, in our own native languages. We translated and commented some of our sentences, but in general they were independently written and only related in the title of the section. We didn’t understand any of the other’s words
    2. Swapna rearranged, reversed, interchanged, replaced the letters in the Spanish words, and Sejo did the same with the Marathi ones.
    3. We combined, arranged and selected the resulting words to get approximately 40 words of the new language for each section.

    The actual texts that we wrote in each stage can be found in this document.

  • We recorded these different sections of the poem in our voices.
  • We tried to get the essence of the emotion from every part of the poem through our voice tone, voice modulation and expressions.
  • We recorded background music for each part of the music that can associate the listener with the emotion
  • We had a great time recording piano notes for many of the emotions mapped in the curve.
  • I can play the piano so adding live music to the sound piece was an interesting exercise.
  • We also recorded there some sounds for the “shock” section, with some screams and things being thrown into the floor with the Zoom Recorder mics.
  • The remaining sounds were searched and downloaded from freesound.org.
  • We took various takes while recording the sounds and later edited the best ones
  • We mixed and edited the sound clips on Adobe Audition and came up with our final 3 minute sound piece Kocanlah adatv nhita.

Debrief

Recording and developing the idea for the Bloodchild was very interesting. Me andJosé Vega-Cebrián (Sejo)  had interesting conversations  while working on this assignment.We brainstormed a lot on various concepts and this helped us come up with varied ideas of creating the sound piece.

The poetry composition method that we tried out had a very interesting outcome. One of the comments given by Marina was that there was an ethnographic approach to our idea.We tried to create an alien language by mixing Marathi and Spanish.  Putting a context to our video was very important and we tried to put a specific concept of a children’s interactive poetry book through our idea. Our conversations took interesting turns and we finalised on the concept of having a poetic recital along with some sound effects. We tried to create an arc through our story but I think we can make it more effective by creating significant highs and lows in the background track and and main voice track.

We can also improvise the sound track by using voice modulations to express the words. Also, time was an important factor and I think we did not give enough time for sound recordings.

This entire experience of interpreting the story into a audio piece was very unique and opened up creative conversations and ideas.