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December 12, 2006



Simultaneous Translation

Simultaneous Translation, an international collaborative web audio project, will participate in the NOMUSIC.ORG Festival X on December 13, 10pm - 11pm EST. Participants for this round are: Greg Davis (USA - Vermont) - live instruments and voice; Kenneth Goldsmith (USA - New York) - words; John Hudak (USA - New York); Lawrence Li (CHINA - Bejing) - English to Chinese translation; Joe Reinsel (USA - Maryland) - Processing; John Roach (USA - Brooklyn) - Spiral Staircase; and Willy Whip (FRANCE - Nantes) - SimTrans Software.

People speak their own languages with little concern about the etymology of the words they speak, or the structural evolution that occured as their language moved geographically, passed from person to person, changing form along the way. Similarly, people trade information on the internet without thinking how the content changes as it passes through multiple users' hands. We rarely think about the geographical aspects of the web and the number of routers that a packet of data must pass through in order to reach its destination. Communication appears instantaneous, the internet seems to defy the common barriers to remote communication such as distance and delay. In reality, the data, invisible to the average user, is still subject to these factors.

Simultaneous Translation explores these limitations of distance and time through the lens of streaming media. Just as language has changed over time and as dialects have evolved as groups of people moved from place to place, so in this project sound is effected by the distances it travels and the time it takes to get there.

Simultaneous Translation is a collaboration in which the strengths and weaknesses of the medium are allowed to become active and shaping ingredients. Fluctuation and indeterminacy are not only inevitable, but desired. Variable stream quality, rebuffering, unexpected dropouts, these are the elements (like bad grammar or slang) that can launch the language into unforseen directions and vibrant neologisms.

The project is designed to be flexible and many of its elements (software, visual components, text, participants) will change as the project moves from host to host.


(((NOMUSIC))) wishes to generate improbable duals and gatherings between two participants during one hour time in a web audio performance. We make no storage because we think that Internet is a huge database which conveys already a great amount of dead informations and we don’t want to pollute it further. We are thus in favour of instant access to a selective event. The mechanism of the programming is not automated; it is relayed manually for 24 hours without any interruption by laboiteblanche and Carl.Y, two real human routers who are at the service of continuous audio stream and who endure technical difficulties and give rapid formation on the technologies of streaming to all the participants...

No-music stands between musical negation and anti-bruitism, in a non-silent interstice of audio manifestation. It allows the composer-performer to be his own auditor, in a place where nothing should be heard but just felt as a new entity to observe.

Posted by jo at December 12, 2006 02:33 PM