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NaPoGenMo 2024 Notes: A Poetic Digestive System

I had this line of thought of emulating a digestive process:

  • Maceration (chewing up data/text – ingestion?)
  • Digestion (breaking down/transformation)
  • Extraction (refining)
  • Excretion (discarding waste)

Also put down some ideas for ways to take the text apart.

Poetic "digestor" notes
Poetic “digestor” notes
Potential methods for processing text
Potential methods for processing text
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Throwing Boots at AI APIs

For National Poetry Generation Month (NaPoGenMo) 2024, I’m going to aim to play with throwing different data at one or more LLMs, then creating functions inspired by the Oulipo movement make something that is at least interesting in planning if not execution ūüôā

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I’m Back

It’s been way too long since I’ve updated this site. With all the attention paid to social media, I’ve let the site wither.

I have ideas I want to go into great detail on, and I believe this is where I can best describe them.

So going forward, I’ll strive to post here first, and social media second.

Stay tuned.

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Experimenting With Paulstretch and Singing Synthesis

I’ve decided to return to¬†my “Fungi From Yuggoth” project – I want to finish it by the end of this month and put it on Bandcamp.

But before I get back to it, I’m taking a little detour with an experiment in time-stretching. I’ve taken the first line from T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men”, and done a couple of things to it.

For starters, I’ve used the singing synthesis component of the Festival package to create a couple of vocal parts around the first line:

We are the hollow men, we are the stuffed men.

I’ve decided to call these synthesized choral pieces The Bot Chorale – I’ve used them (with difficulty) in the past. I hope to use them more going forward.

These pieces – sliced, diced, time-stretched (with the Paulstretch algorithm), granulated, and mangled – came together in ways that I hope to use for “The Fungi From Yuggoth.”

And, yes, I will do “The Hollow Men” – eventually.

Consider this a teaser…

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/175582192″ params=”color=00cc11&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

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Enhancing Poetry With Pitch-Following Effects And Sounds, Part 2: Interesting Mistakes

I’ve put together a proof of concept for enhancing poetry with ChucK scripts, however, I soon realized that I wasn’t actually doing pitch-following. Instead, the code I put together was something called an “envelope follower”. I’ve uploaded the code to GitHub in case anyone wants to play around with it (you’ll need ChucK¬†and the Audicle or miniAudicle IDE).

My physics is really rusty, so the best way I can explain it is that instead of checking the pitch of the voice to determine whether to kick off an effect, the script checks the *power* of the voice. I interpret this as more of a measurement of inflection or stress.

Not exactly what I’d planned, but it’s in the right direction.

This first draft of the script taught me a few things about how to build ChucK scripts that would respond to vocal input. For starters, I now have a new dimension to the vocals that I can use to kick off effects. Currently the threshold used to determine when the effects start has to be manually adjusted, but that could be dynamically changed through some other criteria like external data feeds or input by other people.

I also found that I needed to have a means to stop as well as start effects. When I first put the code together without having a means to stop an effect, the result got noisier and louder until I manually stopped the program.

I also wanted to vary the duration of the effects, so I did the following: (1) I included a global class for setting tempo and note durations; then (2) I added an array of time durations and looped through them each time an effect got kicked off.

Most of the resulting code is cobbled together from existing code examples found on the internet. My coding philosophy for the most part is based on what I call “the thieving magpie”: find components that do what I want (or close to it), slap them together, then modify as needed until I get the desired result.

The poem¬†I used for the demo¬†is “The Seekim”, by Sidney H. Sime. It comes from the book “Bogey Beasts”, which is out-of-print and hard-to-find. Each poem was written and illustrated by Sime;¬†each poem also¬†had a musical score written by Joseph Holbrooke. I’ve never heard the music performed, but the¬†book fascinated me. I’m still kicking myself for having sold it at a used book store almost twenty years ago.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/157563219″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

So even though I didn’t exactly know what I was coding, I got some results I liked, and learned enough to start thinking about next steps.

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