This Sound Track was designed for a scene from “The New Anny” by Martin Crimp (Crimp, M., Martin Crimp: Plays, Faber and Faber, p. 234). It was composed for the COST-SID Workshop on Sonic Interaction Design and Theatre in York in May 2009. The design for the piece was inspired by the French poetic techniques of Oulipo and Ourapo which employ constraints as generative processes.
Sound Design Approach
This piece was originally an auditory sketch of a piece to be performed by a female actor using kitchen implements and appliances to produce the sound effects live on stage, in parallel with a radio that appears to be playing the music and verbal script as part of a domestic scene.
The play describes Anny through 20 scenes which include her friends and lovers, but Anny herself is never seen. The scene is a spoof car advertisement that describes Anny in the exotic/erotic marketing terms.
The literal audio imagery in the script was translated into the sounds of domestic activity in a kitchen. This is an asynchronous diegetic device that makes Annies audio world the world of the story, whilst the narrators non-diegetic voice is on the radio and tangentially connected through syntagmatic ‘coincidences’, puns, similarities and contrasts.
This asynchronous approach was inspired by Rene Clair’s manifesto on film sound which states that all sound in the cinema should be from objects and elements that are not visible on the screen. Likewise all the sounds in this piece are coming from a place that is parallel to the script.
The design also draws on the Ourapo movement in which constraints or rules become generative devices for radio based sound works http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ourapo.
In this case the rule was to identify verb/noun pairs, and then replace the noun with a kitchen implement, whilst using the verb to modify the sound.
The script was converted by Text to Speech using the Apple-Vikki voice.
The music was then generated from the spoken version using Microsoft Songsmith on the Techno setting.
All verbs in the script were coloured orange and all nouns were coloured green.
The kitchen sounds were labelled as verb-nouns.
The verbs in the script were then matched against verbs in the kitchen sound samples.
The piece was then composed using Audacity free and open sound editor.
Sound Script Ourapo
adver-verb / adjective-noun
label pairs in text.
name soundfiles as verb-nouns.
use the verb in the text to select the verb in the soundfile.
apply adverbs to create scales.
– The car twists along the Mediterranean road
– it hugs the bends between the picturesque hillside villages
– the sun gleams and the wind whistles on the aerodynamic body.
– The aerodynamic body of the new Anny.
– We see the new Anny snake (change of gear) along between the red-tiled Mediterranean rooftops.
– we now understand that the new Anny comes with electric windows as standard
– we now understand that the Anny comes with driver’s and passanger’s airbag as standard
– we now understand that the Anny comes with incredibly secure seat belts
– we now understand that the Anny comes with fine windscreen wipers
– we now understand that all the things other manufacturers offer as extras…
– …are offered on the Anny as standard
– Interactive video games
– And a mobile phone
– We understand that our children will be safe and happy in the back seat of the Anny
– just as the adults will be relaxed and confident at the wheel
– In control
– The Anny skims the white beaches of the world
– as easily as she parks outside the halogen-lit shoe shops of the great cities
– When we arrive at our destination in the Anny…
– …we will always be embraced by good-looking men and good-looking women
light-cigarette, light cigarette
– we will not be betrayed
– or shot
– the two-litre Anny achieves excellent mileage in the simulated urban cycle…
– … and is also available in disel
– As a testimony to our ongoing concern for a cleaner, greener, environment…
– …there are no filthy people in the Anny
– not in Anny nor in the sun-filled landscapes through which the Anny drives.
– No one in the Anny lies cheats or steals
– Dirty bastards
– We understand that zero percent finance is available
– But hurry
– Since this is a limited offer
– The Anny cross the Brooklin Bridge
– the claxon making everybody happy
– The Anny crosses the Sahara
– The Anny streaks with the hood down through the vineyeards of Bordeaux
– The Anny streaks at dawn through North African villages…
– …where the veiled women can only gaze with wonder at the immaculate rustprotected paintwork with its five year warranty
– no one ever packs the Anny with explosives to achieve a political objective
program-microwave, close door
– no one is ever dragged from the Anny by an enraged mob
– on the road price includes VAT, number plates, delivery and six months’ road
– financial packages subject to status
– smoking can harm your unborn child
– your house is at risk if you do not keep up the repayments on the loan