for computer with synthesized voices

Simulacres (2007) features a passage from “The Travels of Sir John Mandeville” (c. 1350). The unknown author claimed to be a British knight who had traveled to the Holy Land and Asia. Much of the book is an artful compilation of earlier accounts by others. Descriptions of fabulous creatures and people coexist with accurate observations of places and practices a traveler may see today. Software used to create this piece include Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Paul Lansky’s RT mixing program ported to Mac OSX by Douglas Scott as QRT, and Max/MSP including Dan Trueman’s and Luke Dubois’ PeRColate objects, and the speech synthesis process known as concatenation.

Here is the passage:

Of the Difference Betwixt Idols and Simulacres THE folk of that country have a diverse law. For some of them worship the sun, some the moon, some the fire, some trees, some serpents, or the first thing that they meet at morrow. And some worship simulacres and some idols. But between simulacres and idols is a great difference. For simulacres be images made after likeness of men or of women, or of the sun, or of the moon, or of any beast, or of any kindly thing. And idols is an image made of lewd will of man, that man may not find among kindly things, as an image that hath four heads, one of a man, another of an horse or of an ox, or of some other beast, that no man hath seen after kindly disposition.