Re: World premiere
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, March 11, 2004, 6:32|
On Wednesday, March 10, 2004, at 07:47 AM, Marshall and Endemann wrote:
> On March 20 In the Pilgrims' Church in Leiden, the Netherlands, an
> international choir of nearly 200 high school students (with two wind
> will present the premiere of a specially commissioned 10 minute work 'U
> This will be the first ever performance of a text in the Niuspi language,
> though I am working on others.
It's nice when one hears of a conlang actually being used - well done!
> Niuspi is very much a work in progress. It grew out of the brief for this
> commissioned work: a non-religious, positive text with an international
> flavour. After months of exploring Esperanto, Ido, Glosa and Lojban
Yep - probably as well to keep clear of Esperanto & Ido, there are,
regrettably, too many partisan associations. AFAIK Glosa hasn't suffered
the same way. Altho lojban is an interesting language, it's never struck
me as very musical ;)
> a new
> language seemed to start growing spontaneously as I wrote the text - a
> peculiar experience!
It is, isn't it? Sometimes the language starts taking its inventor in
> So far much of the basic grammar is in place - but only
> a few hundred words. It is pretty stable, the last change (Glosa's
> numerative 'plu' being replaced by 'zi' for aesthetic reasons)
And why not? 'plu' reminds me more of Latin 'pluit' (it's raining) than of
'pluralis' (which I guess it what's intended).
> As you will see from the text and translation below, by far the strongest
> influence on Niuspi is Glosa. I love the creative flexibility of a truly
> isolating language, though (from a musical standpoint I stress) I find
> Glosa's constant polysyllabic nature a bit clunky.
> I thought there must be
> some reason for why many of the world's isolating languages seemed to be
> primarily monosyllabic. Besides I like the compactness of monosyllables.
> maximum formula of 'ccvv' will eventually allow for around 3000 base
> words -
> though for now there are only a few hundred!
That's interesting. Some 40 years back I played around with the notion of
a language with monosyllabic morphemes with initial C or CC followed by (V)
V(V), i.e. simple vowel, diphthong or triphthong. Similar idea to yours.
> From a singer's point of view, final consonants are a huge nuisance -
> particularly the frequent, unpredictable and difficult-to-pronounce
> in English and German where a double final consonant meets the double (or
> even triple) initial consonant of the following word.
Thanks - I'll be downloading it.
> Here is the text of 'U Trau' followed by an English translation and the
> pronunciation guide that accompanied the music. In addition, a recording
> the text read is available for download from the internet at
> By the way, please do not judge the
> text on poetic grounds. I did my best and the ideas expressed are sincere,
I'm sure they are.
> but in the end it is the work of a composer who needed a text to provide
> structure upon which to build the music!
Yep - lyrics written to be sung are best not divorced from the music, the
one should enhance the other - let's hope this is so.
> U Trau
> The Dream[snipped - but read carefully]
> A future full of dreams.
> We have a dream....
Yes - I have to confess it's not really my taste in conlangs (all those
little particles) - but that's a purely subjective thing - it's certainly
more appealing to me than Glosa.
There are a couple of points I'm not clear about.
> h = preferably hard, like the Arabic h
I don't understand what sound you mean - "hard" has no meaning for me in
this context and Arabic has several throaty sounds. If it's not the
voiceless glottal fricative English, what is it?
> j = soft, as in the French jaune
> r = preferably slightly rolled, as in the French rêve
But standard French |r| in rêve is _not_ rolled, slightly or otherwise! Do
you mean the /r/ rolled on the tongue tip that you hear from speakers from
the Midi, or the /r/ rolled with the uvular which is still occasionally
heard, tho now considered old-fashioned? I'm not clear.
> q, w, x and y do not exist in Niu Spi
> ∑ For English speakers some initial double consonants such as nz, zr, bj,
> mr, kn, may look difficult. However Niu Spi words have no final consonants
> and few breaks between words, so such sounds present no problem when
> practised as part of the phrase in which they occur.
> I've no idea what sort of reception my music will get in Holland - and I'
> even less idea of how they will view my 'international text' - hopefully
> with ridicule! The students and teachers are already rehearsing their
> and so far their reaction has been positive.
I hope it all goes well for you, and for Niuspi and you music - good luck
for March 20th!
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760