Karl-Erik Tallmo:
Sound/music: "Molly B. Whips It Out"


CD released in the spring of 2008, "Molly B. Whips It Out", text/sound compositions with synthesized speech.

You may purchase this audio-CD (real CD, not a CD-R) directly from the artist, for SEK 130 (international: USD 14 at CD Baby). Shipping will be added. (Retailers, please write for a quote.) Write to this address.

The CD contains the following tracks:

(Linked titles are available in full length here as MP3 files)

 1. Crux Crux Vim Crux (crude version directly from the speech engine) 2:06
 2. Milk 1:48
 3. Wowwow 1:31
 4. Wooodchuck 2:34
 5. Cha Cha Chew 6:31
 6. Cigus Gus Cigada 3:10
 7. Toon Din Kee Dah 4:13
 8. Problem Economic Democratic 7:40
 9. Yep, Yep, Mrs. Robinson 1:20
10. Read Me (two voice version) 5:09
11. The Cricket Machine 3:44
12. Riding 5:16
13. Good Old Al 3:34
14. Mrs. Lonely Run-On 1:05
15. Bagiffciel 1:01
16. The Evening Country 8:34
17. What Is Behind The Current Trend? 8:56

18. Molly B. Whips It Out 2:58
19. Moo Of Grog 1:04

Eight more tracks – only on the web!

Here are eight additional tracks from the same sessions, that did not fit onto the CD:

20. Crux Crux Vim Crux (version with instruments) 5:14
21. Contradictio in Adjecto 12:26
22. I Saw Me So 1:48
23. Innkeeper Seen 1:04
24. Good Morning 1:31
25. Read Me (crude version directly from the speech engine) 5:12
26. Chirekee 4:48
27. Good Old Al (version with electric bass) 3:37

  All the files available on the web are downloadable here as an MP3 playlist file.

About the tracks:

These compositions were originally prose poems and other texts, manipulated on the computer, in Macintosh Hypercard. They were filtered (e.g. four character words or words with double consonants were extracted) and permuted (words were re-positioned according to a mathematical pattern). The texts were then fed into the Mac text-speech generator with various settings of parameters such as speed, pitch, or emphasis. Often strange unforeseeable results emerged. In Read Me there is, for instance, a clapping noise that was not intended. The cymbal-like rhythmic accents in The Cricket Machine were not intended either, but I let them become part of the composition.

Most of the sound parts of these compositions were made during an intense session the night of September 20th, 2003. Many texts had been written during the spring that year. In 2006 and 2007 a few software instruments were added to some tracks. Some cutting and editing were also done in 2007.

Crux Crux Vim Crux exists in several text versions (such as this one), all of them permutations of the title words. There are two sound versions; on the CD is the crude one as produced by the Mac speech engine. Here on the web you may listen to a later version with instruments, made in 2006. Milk is another short Hypercard text piece, augmented with some instruments in 2007 and included on this CD.

Wowwow is derived from the text of The Beatles’ ”She loves you”, where every consonant is represented by ’w’, and each vowel by ’o’. A few isolated words from that song have also found their way into Molly B. Whips it Out (the title itself alludes to both Joyce and Zappa) and I Saw Me So (on the web only).

Both Woodchuck and Cha Cha Chew are word permutations based on the famous tongue-twister about the woodchuck’s ability to chuck. The same kind of permutation is used in Toon Din Kee Dah and Chirekee (web only). To some extent the words used here resemble so-called bols in Indian classical music. These four compositions use several versions of sound files superimposed and laid out in stereo. Toon Din Kee Dah is augmented with discreet percussion.

Problem Economic Democratic is based on a speech by Stalin from 1936. Originally my manipulations resulted in seven pieces; here they are combined into one. This is an example of what the ”notation” looks like in one of the original seven texts that were used to make this composition:

    [[cmnt bäst med victoria]] [[rate 19240]] [[emph -; pmod 100; pbas 130]]
    milk  side    with    boot,           
    shoe    part    free    'drop'.           
    late    coat    kick-step.           
    base    rule    tail -full.          
    jump-hole    mass-tree.        
    cord    year    wave    coal.       
    past    [[rate 240]] safemilklinesidegoodwith    'boot',
    dark    ballshoetestpartbitefree    'drop',
    able    burnlatechincoatviewkick    'step',
    fowl    saltbaseseedrulethantail    'full',
    snow    havejumpbentholecartmass    'tree',
    deep    truecordpullyearhandwave    'coal',
    flat    weekpastturnsafeselfline    'good',
    horn    knotdarkgoatballfoottest   ' bite',
    shut    roomableunitburnarchchin    'view',
    ring    winefowlstarsaltideaseed    'than',
    stem    gripsnownearhavethisbent    'cart',
    even    raindeepcombtruewashpull    'hand'.
    rice    lossflatnameweekgirlturn    'self',
    sail    muchhornlookknotpumpgoat    'foot',
    wall    maleshutleafroompoorunit    'arch',
    rest    tallringtraywineleadstar    'idea',
    high    bulbstemnosegripovennear    'this',
    blue    railevendownrainpipecomb    'wash',
                [[emph -]]  rice,    loss     [[emph +]] name    girl.
                [[emph -]] sail,    much    [[emph +]]  look    pump.
                [[emph -]] wall,    male    [[emph +]]  leaf    poor.
               [[emph -]]  rest,    tall     [[emph +]]  tray    lead.
                [[emph -]] high,    bulb    [[emph +]]  nose    oven.
                [[emph -]] blue,    rail    down   [[emph +]]  'pipe'.

The text in Read Me is also the basis for The Cricket Machine, although in the latter piece the words are hardly recognizable at this very high speed. Good Old Al is yet another word permutation piece. Riding, Mrs. Lonely Run-On and Bagiffciel are manipulated in Hypercard so that not just words but syllables are moved about.

During the summer and fall 2004 I started to experiment with other sounds, and sampled instruments as well. Two compositions from this period are included on the record and also on the web: The Evening Country, made in November with 11 channels in the Mac program SoundEdit 16, vaguely inspired by Oswald Spengler’s ”Der Untergang des Abendlandes”, and with texts from a Nazi-German geography book from 1939. The text was rendered into a sort of ”Kennedy phonetics” to allow for the English spoken speech engine to pronounce German words. What Is Behind The Current Trend? was also made in November, using 14 channels in SoundEdit16. It is based on one of my prose poems. Finally, Moo Of Grog is another piece from 2003 with a few (software) instruments added in 2007, in Garageband.

About the additional tracks only available on the web:

Crux Crux Vim Crux is the same track as number one on the CD (which was made in 2003), but with software instruments added in 2006. A few, but not many, omissions have been made in the original track when used in this new surrounding.

Contradictio in Adjecto was made in 2003. This is the original version, which is a bit noisy since it was done both digitally and analogically. (Several tracks on the CD and the web were otherwise re-created for this publication, in order to improve the noise level. This means, I ran the original text files with the parameter codes intact once again through the speech engine and recorded it. However, later system versions and a faster processor than was used in 2003 resulted in slightly different outcomes from the Mac speech engine compared to the files made earlier. This piece together with Good Morning are the only tracks that are original files from 2003. It was too difficult to make a second realisation of them. I have, however, reduced noise a little.)

I Saw Me So is made from the same manipulated text sample as Wowwow and, to some extent, Molly B. Whips It Out.

Innkeeper Seen is one of many examples where I used a filter to extract words with double consonants and/or double vowels. I experimented with various settings of pitch, emphasis etc., and this is what came out. After I decided on the settings, no further editing was made.

Good Morning is an example of syllable permutations of the phrase ’Good morning’. Moo of Grog is actually a derivative of this.

Read Me is the crude version directly from the speech engine, as opposed to the version on the CD, which uses two voices in a stereo composition.

Chirekee is a piece resembling Toon Din Kee Dah, using permutations of syllables. Chirekee is augmented with some percussion and organ.

Good Old Al is the same piece as on the CD (made in 2003), but here an electric bass was added in August 2007.

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