BBC-NI Early English, Old Norse 'sonic footprints"
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BBC-NI Early English, Old Norse 'sonic footprints"

Stilly River Sage 19 Aug 20 - 10:15 AM
leeneia 19 Aug 20 - 10:39 AM
Lighter 19 Aug 20 - 12:52 PM
Thompson 19 Aug 20 - 01:10 PM
rich-joy 20 Aug 20 - 03:41 AM
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Subject: BBC-NI Early English, Old Norse 'sonic footprints"
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 10:15 AM

This was posted to the Facebook page, but PEOPLE! it belongs on Mudcat where more can find it and contribute.

Project breathes new life into Early Irish and Old Norse

Swords, horned helmets and long boats - we share a picture of the Vikings dating back to primary school projects.

But history is missing the soundtrack to their world. Their words, songs and music are lost to us.

Now, a pioneering project aims to breathe new life into Early Irish and Old Norse.

Musicians, historians and literary scholars are coming together to trace the sonic footprints left by the Vikings and Celts.

Augmented Vocality: Recomposing the Sounds of Early Irish and Old Norse is a project led by experts at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, they are working with the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge and three European contemporary music ensembles.

Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble based at Queen's University in Northern Ireland is joined by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) in England and BIT20 Ensemble in Norway.

The teams aim to apply powerful new vocal processing and live electronic music technology to develop new insights into the languages by reanimating surviving texts.

Then they shall weave sounds into new compositions for performance.

"For many people, phrases such as 'the early medieval period' and 'the Viking age' conjure a mental landscape of swords, helmets, longboats and thatched huts," said Professor Lamberto Coccioli, associate principal of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the project lead.

"It is a shared visual imagination that encompasses primary school projects, the historically-inspired fantasy world of Tolkien and popular series such as Vikings and The Last Kingdom.

"But what do we really know about the sounds accompanying all this imagery?"

Prof Coccioli's team will be looking at the sounds and poetic texts from early Nordic language and exploring what happens when voices from a distant past collide with contemporary music performance.

"Can we bring back to life for modern audiences the original expressive power and immediacy of those ancient voices?" he asked.

"Composer Edmund Hunt and I are really excited by this challenge and look forward to delivering our findings with colleagues at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, University of Cambridge and three leading new music ensembles."

Last year, academics in Northern Ireland and England unveiled a new online dictionary of medieval Irish.

It was the culmination of five years of painstaking work by experts from Cambridge University and Queen's University.

They pored over manuscripts and texts for words which have been overlooked or mistakenly defined.

Their findings can now be freely accessed in the revised version of the online dictionary of medieval Irish.

Among the words brought back to life in this project are "ogach", which means "eggy" - but in a good way: If you were choosing where to live in medieval Ireland you would want somewhere ogach - "abounding in eggs".

On the other hand it is probably bad news if you hear the word "brachaid", meaning: "It oozes pus."

The scholars discovered quirky words such as "séis" - an old Irish word for a six-day week.

The dictionary of medieval Irish is 23 volumes long. It spans a period from 700 to 1700.

For Prof Greg Toner from Queen's University Belfast, finding and documenting the words has been a labour of love spanning nearly 20 years.

"People think it is an old language and there are no new words, but our interpretation changes," he said.

"We found about 500 words that have not been recorded. Among them is the word "séis", which means a period of six days.

"This is great, if you can't be bothered working a full week."

Other words include the Irish for curlew - "crottach" or "the humped one" - and might be an allusion to the bird's distinctive beak.

On the other hand, leprechauns may be considered quintessentially Irish, but research suggests this perception is blarney.

The word "leprechaun" is not a native Irish one, scholars have said.

The story is here because sometimes these links and stories go away. I linked the inline content from the story on the text where they had links.

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Subject: RE: BBC-NI Early English, Old Norse 'sonic footprints"
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 10:39 AM

Thanks, Stilly. That's interesting. I look forward to hearing some of the sounds and songs of these early speakers.

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Subject: RE: BBC-NI Early English, Old Norse 'sonic footprints"
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 12:52 PM

> "Can we bring back to life for modern audiences the original expressive power and immediacy of those ancient voices?" he asked.

Obviously not. All you can do is try to imitate the "voices" (i.e., phonetics), and present them via speakers trying hard to reproduce reconstructed accents they've never heard before, for modern audiences whose heads are filled with all kinds of post-medieval associations, while lacking the medieval cultural ideas that the original sources took for granted.

"Immediacy" is hearing the real thing, not listening to what you know is a reconstruction made 1500 years later, and having to read a printed translation, to boot.

The project does sound like fun, though. At least they're trying.

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Subject: RE: BBC-NI Early English, Old Norse 'sonic footprints"
From: Thompson
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 01:10 PM

We've all been at séiseanna that lasted six days…

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Subject: RE: BBC-NI Early English, Old Norse 'sonic footprints"
From: rich-joy
Date: 20 Aug 20 - 03:41 AM

This is, I feel, related to the theme of this thread :

from the Comments section :
" For those who are confused on the time frame of what this is representing, it's not necessarily "Vikings," and more or less not Neolithic. It's Proto-Germanic she's singing here, and in most of their music.

It's Pre-Migration Period, 600 years before the Vikings, ~1st Century CE til ~550 when Elder Futhark broke into Younger Futhark.

It's based on historical linguistic reconstruction and snippets of text found archeologically and through Tacitus & Saxo Grammaticus, some of which were carved in runes on bone fragments, or described pejoratively by Latin writers, who described the throat singing as like "howling dogs," when it would sound provisionally like in this video, inferred by the Sammi, Mongol, Indigenous Greenland, and Faroese traditions which survived the ages relatively unchanged.

Then they kinda do this English language "rap," which is based on descriptions of Galdralag and Seiðalag -- no surviving examples of which exist outside of very, very scant snippets in the Poetic and Prose Edda, and in descriptions by Saxo Grammaticus and possibly by Tacitus. The low growling and hissing, the forked fingers, is based on descriptions of Seiðr magic.

That kind of image survived in the inspiration of "witches" which Christians were afraid of deeply, who were real people practicing a similar indigenous artform, and came to become an abstracted meme of its own that evolved & mutated into the 21st century in a vague smear of pop culture idioms.?"

"Remember, that we all are brothers

All people, beasts, trees and stone and wind

We all descend from the one great being

That was always there

Before people lived and named it

Before the first seed sprouted"

HIELUNG (healing)

"Heilung is sounds from the northern european iron age and viking period.

We used everything from running water, human bones, reconstructed swords and shields up to ancient frame drums and bronze rings in the songs.

The lyrics contain original texts from rune stones and preserved spear shafts, amulets and other artifacts. Furthermore poems, which either deal with historical events or are translations/ interpretations of the originals.

Every attempt to link the music to modern political or religious points are pointless, since Heilung tries to connect the listener to the time before Christianity and its political offsprings raped and burned itself into the northern european mentality.

Heilung means healing in german and describes the core of the sound. It is supposed to leave the listener eased and relaxed after a sometimes turbulent musical journey."

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