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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 language, when: - 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 as well? Jan ===== "Originality is the art of concealing your source." - Franklin P. Jones __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts


Sally Caves <scaves@...>