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Bout de Souffle
Out of Breath
Voice of Hopeland
This morning, I awoke and could not speak. My throat does not hurt, but my voice is afflicted nonetheless. This condition is most probably derived from my excess in singing recently. Especially yesterday. When I am home alone in the morning, I usually spend my time of solitude playing guitar and singing unrestricted. It's one of my favorite pastimes. I used to be a really shy singer, but recently I've begun to sing in front of friends and feel comfortable with it. I still do not sing around my family, though.

Now to my main topic of cogitation: Speech, or the lack thereof. It is a very useful tool of communication, and undoubtedly one of the most significant factors in the intelligent progress of the human race. Recently, however, I have come to question speech in relation to more subtle forms of communication. Eye contact, for example, is very indicative of context when paired with speech; on its own, its effects seem amplified. Sharing silent eye contact with someone seems to enable the individuals to read thoughts and reveal emotions.

Returning to music, the human voice on its own can be seen as an instrument. Of course, most people are used to hearing lyrics sung, but is this really necessary? Sigur Rós, an Icelandic band, developed the idea of pure vocals without lyrics. The Sigur Rós website explains it like this:

on the first three albums (von, von brigði, ágætis byrjun), jónsi sang most songs in icelandic but two of them (von and olsen olsen) were sung in 'hopelandic'. all of the vocals [on] ( ) are however in hopelandic. hopelandic (vonlenska in icelandic) is the 'invented language' in which jónsi sings before lyrics are written to the vocals. it's of course not an actual language by definition (no vocabulary, grammar, etc.), it's rather a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music and acts as another instrument. jónsi likens it with what singers sometimes do when they've decided on the melody but haven't written the lyrics yet. many languages were considered to be used on ( ), including english, but they decided on hopelandic. hopelandic (vonlenska) got its name from first song which jónsi sang it on, hope (von).

Here is a sample: Untitled #4
(Not that you could tell the difference between Hopelandic and Icelandic anyway).

Having no lyrics on the entire album is a true experiment with how we perceive language and emotions through words. Although there is no written context in the songs, one can still pick up a conveyed feeling. Hopefully this will broaden the horizons of those who are too used to lyrical content in music and are not concerned enough with the raw emotion of music itself.

Very interesting...
I did not know that Sigur Ros sings in Hopeland, their music is quite beautiful, and you're right, when I listen to it, it still stirs emotions. I agree that silent eye contact can be very powerful, afterall, many Middle Eastern cultures have relied heavily on it for centuries and in our society and other's, just one glance can send a shiver of fear down one's spine, or provoke feelings of delight.
» KatnicityAnnToTheMax on 2005-08-10 09:48:26

"Having no lyrics on the entire album is a true experiment with how we perceive language and emotions through words." I fell in love with Words.
» juiCyy on 2005-08-10 10:41:40

interesting concept
I'd love to hear some of that. Do you know where I could listen to a clip, or something?
Now I'm curious. I love this idea. It's like what painting is to writing, but with sound.
Interesting, indeed.
» invisible on 2005-08-11 02:07:23

Thanks for the sample!
I rather like it. It's soothing, and relaxing. Having already had quite a day, the relaxed feel of the song made me rather tired. haha

» invisible on 2005-08-13 05:24:43

You like to reason.
» juiCyy on 2005-08-14 03:46:57

Synthetic. It has a nice ring to it actually. It's funny, not too many people know the feeling. But it's nice knowing someone out there can relate.
» s0uldeep on 2005-08-14 04:58:04

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