January 19, 2001

Voices


Some time early last summer, I received what I thought was a strange email from Rien (Reality Asylum). I just checked to see if I still have it, considering I never throw anything out (well, anything non-incriminating anyway) but I don't.

It said something like, "I want your voice". (If I remember at all correctly.)

It went on to explain what for: Rien was compiling a CD with html files from his website, but also music and voice sounds; journallers, friends, acquaintances from around the world were invited to submit the sounds.

Since I hate my spoken voice (as heard on tape) I filed the email and procrastinated.

The deadline was supposed to be August (I think) so I put it off well into that month. Then Rien extended the deadline to December. Foiled again.

Repeated requests in his journal and probably email (discussion lists?) ratcheted up the guilt factor, and I gave it enough thought to decide what I'd send if I did send anything... since my voice is childish and whiny, and I can't carry a tune, may as well make it totally obnoxious and sing! Then for sure he wouldn't use it...

So I put it off some more.. then Rien arranged for a toll-free number to make things easier (no need to record a wav file and email it! One less chore to hurdle.) The number was only for the US but I figured I could use it.. and procrastinated some more.

The guilt finally caught up to me just before Rien left for his Greek vacation in November.

The toll-free number really didn't work in Canada which was just as well.. no chance to edit or redo that way. I pulled out the microphone from behind the desk, dusted it off, and, after making sure nobody was home, sang O Canada. Several times. Using the new words, not the ones I was taught in school in the dark ages. Not the French ones either, since my French accent is terrible too.

Rien had asked that the file be under 500k, and mine was just over 500k so I emailed him to say I'd cut it down and send it.. eventually. He insisted I send it right then so I reluctantly did - but really it wasn't all that much to ask of a friend. Besides he wasn't going to use it.

Of course he did.

So track 6 of the Reality Asylum CD has the voice of a young-sounding French Canadian woman, Chantal, discussing how bad is her spoken English, accompanied by my off-key rendition of O Canada. I don't know how aware Rien is of the irony, considering Quebec politics, but I suspect he's well aware of it. Another blow for the Quebec sovereignty forces..

Other than my questionable contribution, though, the CD is amazing. The tracks connect seamlessly; there's an underlying carpet of music (to my old-fogey ears it sounds like electronica, but please correct me if I'm wrong, Rien) with an unrelenting beat, and a cacophony of voices and miscellaneous sounds running through, overlapping, repeating, echoing, etc.

It's hard to describe, really.

Rien has posted four samples on his site.. I'm sure each of them is worth more than 1000 of my words. There's information on how to go about ordering the CD as well.

Rien is a professional editor/mixer and it shows. He is very very good at it and it was worth it to suffer the public humiliation of being heard singing (!) to discover this type of art form. It's something I never would have experienced otherwise, so thank you Rien!

One Year ago Today More or Less and Linque du Jour Combined:

In a happy coincidence, Linda Tripp is in the news again, just a year and a day after I wrote this entry. (I still get search engine hits on it occasionally!)

It seemed Linda wouldn't go away quietly like she was supposed to, as a political appointee, in anticipation of the government change-over in the US. So they fired her. Linda just wouldn't take that last shred of dignity with her, and apparently afforded poor beleaguered Mr. Clinton, who today must confess yet again to the usual litany of sins in order to avoid prosecution, a moment of great personal satisfaction.

I checked to see if Ms. Tripp's website is still there, and it is.. with links to "news" articles bearing titles such as "Clinton: a Piece of Work"; also the latest on the Jesse Jackson scandal, but I fail to see the relevance of that to Linda's situation.

There's also a photo of the surgically-altered Linda, who reminds me of someone but I can't figure out whom.. all I'm sure about is that she looks like she's had a sex change, not a face lift. The opportunity to donate to Linda's "Justice" fund of course remains as well.

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