Klangbuch der imaginären Wesen (radio production)

Klangbuch der imaginären Wesen (Soundbook of imaginary beings)
duration: 52min
produced by Deutschlandradio Kultur Berlin
editor: Goetz Naleppa
voices: Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart
with the kind support of Musik der Jahrhunderte and the TU-Studios Berlin.
premiere: Deutschlandradio Kultur, 01.12.2006

The book “El libro de los seres imaginarios” (Book of the imaginary beings) by the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges was the source of inspiration for the creation of this work. In his book of fantasy zoology, Borges explored ancient bestiariums and mythology texts to compile a handbook of creatures conceived through time and space by the human imagination. Some examples are the Unicorn, the Dragon and the Griffon. Some others like the Salamander and the Magpie are real animals which also have a fantasy “double” originated in ancient times.
We can certainly enjoy a big amount of stories and images that tell us about these fantasy creatures; but what about their sounds?
Using the Borges’s text as inspiration source, I created a soundbook that contains an imaginary soundworld for twelve fantasy beings. The voices of the Neuen Vokalsolisten from Stuttgart were the chosen sound material for the creation of the twelve short compositions. In a series of recording sessions, I collected a good amount of different vocal articulations, timbres and textures that were later edited and processed using computer software. The idea was to use both, non-processed as well as processed vocal sounds. The reason for using vocal sounds as source material stems from a metaphorical link between fantasy creatures being the product of the human imagination and a sound material coming from the human body. The fantasy beings included in the soundbook are: the Mandragora, the Amphisbaena, the Unicorn, the Dragon, the Manticore, the Hydra, the Salamander, the Satyr, the Griffon, the Basilisk, the Leucrocotta and the Magpie.