The Real Time Event, Occurring

Leslie Scalapino - brief phrase from Can't is Night (0'3"). After posting some first impressions about this track a few days ago, I found myself getting interested in the tone movement in a phrase encountered about 22 seconds into the soundfile, so I switched from Audacity to the excellent, and free, phonetics software Praat to generate some more detailed images.

The first, which you can click to enlarge, is of the poet voicing the phrase "The real time event occurring," with the familiar waveform information on top and a blend of spectrogram, intensity (yellow line), and pitch (blue line) information below.

Voice visualization

Next is a graph that isolates pitch a little more clearly, with movement in time indicated along the x-axis and frequency in Hz along the y. To hear the software's approximation of the tone pattern, click the image.

Voice visualization

And here are "close ups" of the linked segments of the phrase (again, click to enlarge; the red dots trace formant patterns). First, "the real":

Voice visualization

Then "time event" (with another of those aspirated /t/s I mentioned on Thursday shown at the right):

Voice visualization

Then, "occurring":

Voice visualization

The highest pitch (approximately 235 Hz) comes at the front of the sequence with the /i:/ of "real." On the low end, the second syllable of "occurring" starts at about 160 Hz and quickly drops to 100 Hz before dying away at about 60 Hz on the "ing" affix. This corresponds to Scalapino's typical range throughout the soundfile, which seems to be centered around 160-170 Hz, with reaches into the upper 230s and dips to nearly 50. The bracketing effect Scalapino produces here (and elsewhere in the soundfile) thus looks to be a combination of pause (about .3 seconds between the aspirated /t/ of "event" and the neutral vowel at the start of "occurring") and tone lowering ("occurring" opens low, around 130 Hz, rises only to mid-range, drops sharply and stays low to die off).

XML feed here. • Elsewhere on Third Factory: index, ensemble, nb.

Sunday -- 27 May 2007 -- permalink

The Lipstick of Noise is a product of the Third Factory • Inspired by the music blogs • And by Paul Blackburn's reel-to-reel deck. Intending to make good use of PENNSound and other sources of digital audio files of poetry • Comments welcomeXML.