It’s clear that we live in a world inhabited and surrounded, some say polluted, by sound. We are losing and neglecting our ability to hear and listen because we’re so busy with tuning things out instead of tuning in.
I love the quote by Toshiya Tsunoda they’ve placed prominently at the top of the page:
We can say that field recording is considered to be a work which crops a part from a whole complete picture. What does that mean? An incident is continuously followed by the next incident like a domino. What is a criterion to cut a moment and distinguish it from other moments?
Well, kind of, thanks to a company that custom builds text-to-speech voices. Ebert’s new voice is compiled from his vast accumulated archive of reviews and commentary tracks.
CereProc didn’t need to hear me speaking a specific word in order for my “voice” to say it. They needed lots of words to determine the general idea of how I might say a word. They transcribed and programmed and tweaked and fiddled, and early this February, sent me the files for a beta version of my voice. I played it for Chaz, and she said, yes, she could tell it was me. For one thing it knew exactly how I said “I.”
CereProc is now blending in my audio snippets for “Casablanca,” where I sound enthusiastic, and “Floating Weeds,” where I sound calm and respectful. It’s nice to think of all these great movies sloshing around and coming out as my voice.