Iva Bitova & Kurt Schwitters
|From:||Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, December 21, 2002, 9:39|
--- Sally Caves skrzypszy:
> Driv nez major v majoranku
> pohrouzi se stranik v stranku
> zasekne se kolo dejin
> expres stane v Kolodejich
Well, this is obviously Czech. Perhaps her way of phrasing it is a bit weird (I
can't judge that, since I don't know the piece), but frankly, I don't see
anything strange in the "pronunciation guide" you gave. It seems to fit
whatever I know about Czech pronunciation. But then, I know Polish much better
than Czech. Maybe one of our Czech members could help?
> So unless these words are made up, she seems to be following the written
> text. Is this Czech? A dialect of Czech? Or a made-up language? If she
> is making up musical words on other CDs, let me know, please, and let me
> know how you know.
No, I was obviously wrong, since this is clearly Czech (don't ask me about
dialects). Perhaps I wasn't entirely wrong when I wrote that it is just sounds
she produces, and she something like that in other songs. I don't know. It was
something I remembered only vaguely...
And about Kurt Schwitters: one of our list members, Paul Edson, posted a
message about him some eight monts ago. He wrote: "Kurt Schwitters' _Ursonate_
is for rhythmic spoken voice, and makes use of phonetic material (but not
words, at least on purpose) from German."
And he added two (highly recommendable) links, which are still working:
The score can be found at
And a recording from the 1930's of Schwitters himself performing it at
But I don't think you can call this a "language". I am not a professional
linguist, but my simple logic tells me that a language can only be considered a
- it has grammar
- the words have meanings.
Well, the "Ursonate" doesn't meet any of these two criteria. Nevertheless, it
is interesting enough.
Something completely different: not long ago, I heard an interview with one of
the greatest composers still alive, György Ligeti. He said that, when he was
young, he had created a whole conworld, including a conlang (called "Kylyrian",
IIRC). Elements from this conworld exist in his opera "Le Grand Macabre" and in
another, earlier work, the title of which I can't remember right now. But has
anybody heard of this language?
Isn't it nice to know that conlanging has been the domain of a few celebrities
"Originality is the art of concealing your source." - Franklin P. Jones
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