Enter your username and password

Forgotten your username or password?

Your Shopping Cart

There are no items in your shopping cart.


Extracts from Syllables to attitudes : for two absent female voices, ten musicians and conductor

by Kim Bowman (2011)

Work Overview

I started this piece in June 2007

Syllables to Attitudes is still in the process of making. It started with an image of seeing somebody close-up, talking, without hearing a sound. The piece is constructed of fragments chained to a common spine. Like walking through a long corridor with many doors opening onto rooms.

The score is set for 2 female voices and large ensemble with theatrical and cinematographic elements and the use of broken down language. From an urge to use voices in a non semantic and therefore non narrative way I started arranging pages of mere syllables, derived from random words. These syllables are combined with attitudes and finally behaviour in an incomprehensible and purposeless way.

Significant in this context is the following:

- As speech begins to develop in a baby, various ways of expression start to emerge. Sound becomes meaning. Damaged version of language can evolve, like stammering and compulsory use of language which is part of the Tourette Syndrome. These are examples where language is in a matter of speaking 'enriched' by meaningless vocalisations.

- Language has a subconscious meaning-appearance in the yet non-existent form of a word that has not been found in your memory. It's a meaning without shape. Trying to find a word, knowing it's meaning but not being able to find it's shape. This is a phenomenon that became very apparent when I changed from my mother tongue to English in 2005.

Considering all the above, the singers are therefore actresses as well.

Extracts from Syllables to Attitudes is instrumental music from Syllables to Attitudes for a slimmed down ensemble.

Kim, May 2011

Work Details

Year: 2011

Instrumentation: 2 French horns, percussion (2 players), piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass and conductor Percussion instruments: 1) Maracas, agogo bell, marimba, 5 temple blocks, small chinese cymbal. 2) Tam tam (also with bow), agogo bell, log drum, snare drum, maracas, crotales, 2 timbales conductor plays a metal bucket with pebbles  

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — some theatre actions involved

User reviews

Be the first to share your thoughts, opinions and insights about this work.

To post a comment please login.