language master

language master machine, electronics (1998)

A performance that is built around the ways that languages both spoken and electronic are commingled and transformed, Language Master is named after an arcane language instruction device that functions as the core instrument of the piece. The device is a kind of analog sampler that records and plays back snippets of audio from cards that have recording tape embossed onto them. The speed of the cards as they run through the machine can be manipulated as they move, resulting in an analog tape counterpoint to the scratching techniques of record dj's. These manipulations can be heard as the constellation of beeps and tearing sounds that overlay the other audio material. The audio sources heard refer both to the absorption of words from one language to another and also to the development of the syntax of recorded audio from Marinetti to Lucier. This is extended to the digital realm by having the material run through an audio processing unit that has a constantly shifting delay time. Language Master functions as a cut-and-splice tape collage that leaves the stitches intact and audible.