clay tablets, circular scores, 4-channel sound installation, 2020
recorded during a residency at Q-O2, Brussels
In 1867, Alexander Melville Bell published Visible Speech, a visual phonetic alphabet mapping the position of the lips, throat and tongue as they produce speech, originally intended to help deaf people articulate language. Diana Duta has created a series of circular scripts containing aleatory sequences from Bell's alphabet - mixing verbal and non-verbal sounds, human and non-human, such as contempt, annoyance, pain, sawing wood, or the grunt of a pig - which were interpreted by five voice performers: camille gérenton, Simone Basani, Barry Fitzgerald, Myriam Van Imschoot and Marcus Bergner.
I, O and U represent the three clay tablets containing the original scores, which were buried under the streets of Brussels as part of Anthony Colclough’s project “Notes to ()”.
The sound composition is therefore a way to archive these lost objects in a sonic rather than visual form.
Listen to a 10-minute excerpt below.