Heather and Minerva: a sound project for National Poetry Month

Photo: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

Photo: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

 

Disquiet Junto Project 0067: Odyssey Machine

Track title (since the rules don’t allow a title): “Heather and Minerva”

This week’s project is an adaptation of the ongoing National Poetry Month project at SoundCloud. The Junto will, collectively, produce new fragments of The Odyssey of Homer. A die and access to text-to-speech software were required.

Instructions:

soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/info

Information:

Working through the instructions I ended up with the following from Book 6 of Homer’s Odyssey:

Minerva, Goddess dread,
That sight forbidding them, whose eyes she dimm’d
With darkness shed miraculous around 
Her fav’rite Chief.

I went to NaturalReaders.com and found a voice that had acceptable intonation. I picked “Heather” from the US selection and used a slightly slower reading option. Nevertheless, it was in no way ideal. I also had to edit the text slightly to get it to read better without noticeable glitches and troubles with the translator’s use of frequent “contraction apostrophes”.

Once I’d used Soundflower to record the output of the audio section, I turned to Ambient v0.3 and started playing with the audio file created. Over a few minutes I was able to record some interesting beds for the text (and several I shall be using in other projects 😉 ). Everything was then pulled together in Logic Pro and suitably trimmed and faded. I was looking to create a broad range of light and dark under the voice.

Credits:

Photo: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division (from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Minerv…th-detail-1.jpeg)

This project was inspired by the National Poetry Month event at SoundCloud, more details on which here: 

soundcloud.com/groups/national-poetry-month-collaborations

The source text for this project is William Cowper’s translation of The Odyssey of Homer, available here: 

archive.org/stream/theodysseyof…4269gut/24269-0.txt

More on this 67th Disquiet Junto project at: disquiet.com/2013/04/11/disquie…67-odysseymachine/

More details on the Disquiet Junto at: Groups – Disquiet-junto

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