Like music, language also has an underlying rhythm. Yet different languages have different prosodic patterns. For example, English is stress-timed, which means some syllables are longer, others are shorter, whereas Cantonese is syllable-timed, which means syllables are of equal length. Therefore, the act of speaking itself creates a very interesting rhythm each and everytime.
Originally exhibited in PMQ deTour 2021 as an interactive sound installation, the web version of “The Interpreter” is a computer program, like an interpreter between speech and music. It records the dialogue of a person, and instead of translating it into another language, the computer algorithm of the device translates the dialogue into rhythm and tone, which is then played by a sequence of percussion instruments. So, simply by talking to this 'Interpreter’, new rhythm and music can be generated.
- Commissioned by: PMQ deTour 2021
- Co-created by: Chaklam Ng & Dr. Jackie Lou Jia
- Instrument design: Chaklam Ng
- Linguistics: Dr. Jackie Lou Jia
- Programmer: John Chau
- Drum Consultant: Terry Wai Lun
- Drum Technician: Derek Lee Kwun Wai
- Video Production: Joshua Yiu
- Project Assistant: Sze Hong Ki, Lo Wai Man