Author Archives: Ethan Rose

About Ethan Rose

Harmonic Words

Been thinking on another possible method of performance – this time considering the layered harmony of poemophones to voice words.

Instead of spelling words out letter by letter I have been playing around with layering all the letters in the word together to create a harmony that voices the word all at once.  For instance to play the word  HOW on the poemophone I am hitting the H, O, and W keys all at the same time.  This method essentially breaks words down into a series of harmonic syllables, transforming the written word into the poemophones’ oral/aural voice.

As a group we could use this method as a way to speak in unison.  One possibility would be to color code letters with poemophones.  For instance, my model 5 could be the color green, and I would be responsible for hitting the letter that is colored green in each syllable.  Bluebird could be the color blue, etc.   Perhaps we would have these color coded syllables rhythmically projected in the space so that we would be able to remain in sync.

Here is an example of what the following sentence might sound like…audio example


This systemic blend of tonality, rhythm, and language allows for a visceral combination of reading, playing, and listening that has a lot of possibility. A bit more technically involved, but it could be worth exploring.

I’ve also been working on a score for Newly Tonal Consonants and am excited to share that with you all in person soon.


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newly tonal consonants

Hello fellow poemophoners.

This is Ethan…being new to wordpress I hope all of this ends up in the right place.

I wanted to post a few bits of directional possibilities that I have been exploring with my Model 5  poemophone.

This past winter I was working on a piece for choir that is acting as a leaping off point for some vocal/poemophone performance ideas.

One peculiar thing that I really like about the poemophone is that it gives tonality to vocal sounds that generally don’t have tonality.  There are a number of vocal sounds that don’t vibrate the vocal cords and instead are constituted solely from mouth-shape and breath.   By vocalizing these consonants and simultaneously thumbing the corresponding key on the poemophone the voice merges with instrument, and strangely the toneless consonants become toned.  I have made some simple recordings of this interaction between my own voice and my poemophone, the Model 5.

The first set uses longer sustained consonants…

Ssss      Hhhh      Ffff

The second uses shorter staccato consonants…

K      T      J

I am brainstorming ways that we could create a group performance using these consonants as raw material.  For instance all of us layering our voices by vocalizing Sssss and simultaneously intoning the corresponding letter on our individual instruments would create a richly layered density of sound material.  We could shift between consonants and create changes, exchanges, etc.

Individual microphones for each of our voices and amplification for each of our poemophones would be great if possible.

This is just a beginning – looking forward to meeting you all and discussing these pieces in person.


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