Using practice-based methodology to give new life to early languages and help reclaim the oral quality at the heart of medieval literature.
- Prof Lamberto Coccioli, RBC (Principal Investigator)
- Dr Edmund Hunt, RBC (Co-Investigator)
- Dr Simon Hall, RBC (Co-Investigator)
- Prof Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge (Co-Investigator)
- Dr Brittany Schorn, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge, (Research Assistant)
- Matthew O’Malley, RBC (Music Technologist)
- 2 Research Assistants to be appointed at Integra Lab, RBC
Phrases such as 'the early medieval period' and 'the Viking age' are rich in imagery. For many people, these words conjure a mental landscape of swords, helmets, longboats and thatched huts. In contrast, the ephemeral nature of sound means that there is no clear legacy of the sonic past. When a language ceases to be spoken its literature becomes increasingly restricted to the scholars and specialists who have learned to read it. The focus shifts from performance and dissemination to translation and discussion. Texts that once existed as sonic artefacts of a vibrant oral tradition become fossilised in the silence of the printed page. The language loses its voice.
Augmented Vocality: Recomposing the Sounds of Early Irish and Old Norse proposes a novel programme of practice-based research and a methodology to analyse and explore the sounds of early medieval languages. Combining linguistic expertise with sophisticated voice processing technologies the project aims to give new life to early languages and help reclaim the oral quality at the heart of medieval literature. Augmented Vocality is a collaboration between Integra Lab at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge and three leading new music ensembles - Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble and BIT20 Ensemble.
Augmented Vocality will have a variety of outcomes
- Digital audio database of Early Irish and Old Norse words and phonemes;
- New vocal processing software tools and live electronics software to support composition and performance with the vocal sounds;
- At least two musical compositions for one or more voices, ensemble and live electronics;
- A project website with musical scores, recordings of performances, downloadable software and access to the digital audio databases;
- Public concerts in partnership with three renowned music ensembles: the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Hard Rain Soloistensemble in the UK, and BIT20 Ensemble in Norway;
- Conference presentations and workshops in the UK, Ireland and Norway;
- At least two peer reviewed journal articles.
Find out more about the Augmented Vocality project here.