for string quartet and electronically played back text

text by Lauren Clark

The four recorded phrases from Lauren Clark’s poem, INDIANA, were chosen based on their innate musical qualities (alliteration, repetition, rhythm, pitch-melody, etc.) when read aloud. Each poetic phrase was recorded in a highly musical manner, directly drawing upon the work of sound poets. The string quartet music, either literally or abstractly, mimics the vocal recording’s gestures, pitches, rhythms, and/or timbres. By replicating the text with music, does the music, then, take on a linguistic meaning? Or do the two mediums simply offer separate stimuli that influence our cognitive environments/interpretations? And finally, how precise must one be in the translation of spoken text to music for the connection between the two to be convincing?