Sunday, October 02, 2005

British composer Edward Jessen on transcribing laughter into musical notation:

Unlike speech, which generally has a decipherable pitch, laughter seemed to be ecstatic, more like the sound of forced air and involuntary pitchless spasms. Therefore, with each example of laughter I resolved to take impressions of the vowels, the speeds, and curvature in the way that a court artist might quickly sketch a villain during a big murder trial - not the deepest likeness, yet not unrecognizable either.

from Cabinet magazine, issue 17

All trills and triplets and glissandi, Jessen has scored vigorous baby giggles, a dirty titter, a rising cackle, a short, disingenuous male chortle and a forced party laugh (among others) so that you, too, can perform them.

The Swedish verb for the day is att le. It means to smile.

- by Francis S.

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