Talk to Me

Talk to Me is a speech-to-song synthesizer developed during a one-week introduction to programming course at CIID. It is designed to explore the nuances in cadence and intonation between different languages and different speakers. The code transforms several key characteristics of audio recordings to make music. The pitch variation of the speaker’s voice is translated to a MIDI frequency to define a melodic response, while the variations in sonority are used to define the rhythm. The talk to me interaction, although technically a simple call-and-response, creates a new conversation between man and machine.

The Talk to Me project explores the music in linguistics and the increasingly creative interplay between humans and computers. The speech-to-song performance involved 6 different people speaking the same 10 words in different languages and listening for the songs that came from Italian, Ukrainian, Spanish, English, Chinese, and Hindi.

For the final part of the performance, two machines with the Talk to Me script ran against each other in a post-human musical show.