Magritte's central thought behind "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" can be upheld and hopefully enriched, when translating it into sound. Like his pipe was only an image, a reproduction of a real pipe, the voice that is audible is only a digital reproduction of a real voice. Magritte points out that no matter how closely - through realism-art - we come to depicting an item accurately, we never do catch the item itself. When translated into sound the contradiction seems even stronger, because here it is the object itself (my voice) which is stating that it is not the object. Moreover through a sampling rate of 44,1kHz or even higher the depiction of human speech becomes so frighteningly close to the original that you almost can't tell the difference. But still, it is not a human being who speaks to you, but speakers. They are in this case the real sound emitters, not my voice. Encoded information, digital bits, "0s and 1s", are ultimately the source of that speaker emittance, not the larynx and the mouth. To emphasize this thought musically, transformation techniques, such as aliasing and looplength modulation - that become possible in digital and resynthesis domain - are utilized.This multi-lingual, musical Magritte spin-off is structured in three parts:
I - "This is not my voice, this is only a digital copy of my voice"
In the first part you can hear how, through down-sampling a speech phrase is distorted and transformed slowly into single digital pulses that start to resonate, which gives it a drum-like character. Through the polymetric relationship out of aliasing frequency and the period of the original speech sample new accents and rhythms constantly arise. A second voice is added in canon to the first voice so that the two pulse streams create kind of interlocking figures. Sudden accelerations or decelerations deviate from the pulse and introduce a chaotic element which creates additional rhythmic complexity and tension. Finally the process is mirrored and the pulses transform back into the speech phrase.
II - "Ceci n'est pas ma voix, c'est seulement la synthèse de ma voix"
In part II a resynthesis of the phrase is divided into many spectral partials. Gradually new groupings of partials evolve. They are manifestations of spectral consonance-dissonance, of spectral orchestration. When a new "partial ensemble" has been established, the highest partial or spectral track is added and the speech phrase becomes intelligible again.
III - "Dies ist nicht meine Stimme, es ist nur eine digitale Kopie meiner Stimme"
The closing third part was partly inspired by Steve Reichs "come out" - certainly the phasing technique, but also more generally the thought to go from speech to sound, from its semantic meaning to its pure musical, sounding meaning. What might be new is the conscious decision to transform speech (words) into machine-like sounds - this also emphasizes the previous thought. Through a gradual decrease in looplength certain consonants or vowels are isolated and looped. For example, isolating and looping the "o" in "Kopie" accomplishes a kind of motor sound, isolating and looping the "s" in "Dies" creates a steaming engine. At the end the entire machine, its components, phases. This, together with the polyrhythmic mix of all those speech machine sounds, makes the same always sound slightly different.