pftjschute of Finnegan
Music 220b, Homework 3
March 1, 2005
past Eve and Adam's. From swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us
by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and
Sir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his pensiolate war: nor had topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurens County's gorgios while they went doublin their mumper all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though all's fair in vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe. Rot a peck of pa's malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface.
The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall of the offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes: and the upturnpikepointandplace is at the knock out in the park where oranges have been laid to rust upon the green since devlinsfirst loved livvy.
-James Joyce, Finnegan's Wake, 1922-1939
Finnegan's Wake is a record of dream thoughts. The words of the text create an incredibly rich lyrical picture, but often, make little sense. Such is the beauty of the Wake.
I have been reading Finnegan's Wake on and off for about a year (I'm up to page 32!). As a word lover, Joyce's radical and complex work excites me— the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes – he is a master of words.
For this assignment, I created a piece using soundfiles of the human voice speaking different vowel and consonant sounds. The soundfiles are arranged, layed, and controlled by two markov chains created from the first page of Finnegan's Wake. For the first markov chain, I made a list of the first letter of each word on the page, and then did a 3rd order markov analysis on the list. The second markov chain was created in a similar way, but instead of sorting by the first letter, it is sorted by the number of letters in each word.
The first markov chain (based on letters) dictates which vowel/consonant soundfile is selected.
The second chain (based on word length) controls amplitude, reverb amount, and spatial position.
To widen the frequency band, I added in a sampling-rate multiplier term. The multiplier lies in the range from 0.01 to 1.8, with narrower ranges for different sections of the piece.
The code can be found here
To run the code, you will need to copy cut.ins and freeverb.ins and compile them in your home directory
You will also need the folder of soundfiles, available in zipped form here
Here is a stereo mix of pftjschute of Finnegan