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Glossolalia

"Every limb of my body would, as a result, be set a fire. At such moments my tongue recited what no man could bear to hear."

The work contains texts describing ecstatic experiences from twelve religions, each translated into three separate languages, using twelve languages in total. The vocal material is based on these translations, the authors' names and a variety of isolated speech sounds (glottal fricatives, plosives, alveolar trills, etc.). The vocalist moves toward more complex passages of utterance, creating a simulacrum for speaking in tongues, while electronic sound uses live processing of the vocalist and recordings made with twelve different woman.

Audio is played from loudspeakers surrounding the performer, creating a field of sound radiation around the vocalist. The work ends with a modified Brion Gysin Dreamachine, using noise from a phonograph needle rubbing against plastic sent to a small loudspeaker covered by three bowls. At the end of the work, the vocalist slowly removes these preparations.

The work was written for Marie Guilleray and performed at Studio Loos in Den Haag in June of 2011.

[audio excerpt on Audition Records] [score]

Glossolalia by Robert Blatt

Glossolalia by Robert Blatt