The Half-Muffled Clappers in RealAudio

Note: The accompanying audio track is an excerpt from the sounds used by Tony Kemplen to generate the text.

Avocado/Avvocato in RealAudio

Note: The accompanying audio track is an excerpt from the CD of the altered text being performed by a speech synthesiser.

Tony recommends these online literary links.

The Half-Muffled Clappers

by Tony Kemplen

Airplane valuers truly ruler,
Closer digital telephone persist
Clothing lower, alas carrying
Calamitous parallel slowly talented efficacy

Foolishly powerlessness suspense
Asteroid adversary panacea


Commander caretaker tutorial
Cadet telephoning carelessness
Confession dot  says disbelief chief
Japan past stand-up comedians
Amazon vested illusion fashioned fulsome person
Applicable sanguine finance pinpoint

Fanfare thunder herself first successful
Puzzlement panelling panic
Ancient in essence dangers personable
The novel the uneven provision

    As their own party remains alive
   Severe lovable as covering items in height
  Possessive of those lacking Viva
 Pointedly reflective observers
Heave with concerts

Wrenching an injury to themselves
 Royal fusion infrequent
  Discipline his thigh thicker abstention
   Slightly contrived ideal philanthropist
    Sense of loss worship dilution
     Calvin Klein survivors have a Mafia figures

Full fanfare yesterday
Forcefully carefree curving

        Carriage drive-puzzlement-professors
          Bath assimilation ill-advised

Healthy finances the violent hovering
  Advisers adventurous proliferate acquires
    Palace physiology leave relevance
      Divisional shots clear market vehicles
        Shaved ticket athleticism impressive
          Career as  illogical vaudeville level

Where whichever party for photographers two-year vehicles
Paper situation fee composer unequivocal cavalier

                    Life-size theatrical and unusual build
                Cautionary anomalous, other paper diver
            Hansard fugitive, fugitive civil
        Dismissive icon laundering

                              Unconstitutional to the confessional Volvo
                      Impose the formal arson with his house
                   Have consumer groups save avocado arriving
              Newcomer limousine redeployment small dip
         Yes, manoeuvred also are all reason pass

      Informal London Dance services,
     Merely reindeer rave
    Kick-off were vacancies champion upheaval,
   Heath humanism would finance in Rome

 Above envelope so some five survivors
Hearing cucumber service constructive lyrical
Sunlit feline character tortoise

Councillors abolish cynicism tummy future
  Allied forces are now cottage trawlers
    Glistening home consumption commander
      Puzzlement becomes almost tangible
        Confusion pages saucepan attack
          Fences keyboard shouldn't

              Happier times

Author's note:

The Half-Muffled Clappers --

A poem made by feeding the background sounds (horse's hooves, applause and half-muffled bell clappers) from Princess Diana's funeral into a computer voice recognition programme. The words generated from this non-verbal input have an unexpected resonance.

The IBM Voicetype speech recognition package will attempt to make words out of any sound. I first tried singing or whistling to it, then playing various natural and man made noises into the microphone. The computer "guesses" at which word may be being spoken, but each word is not taken in isolation, the speech recognition engine has a database of words which may occur in close proximity, together with the probabilities of this happening. The result then, is not quite a series of random words, but of guesses taking into account the chances of certain words coming together. This of course is a culturally specific database, and so seemingly meaningful phrases occur quite frequently. It has been asserted by various commentators and politicians that Diana's death marked some kind of sea change in the attitudes of the British people, some of these attitudes may be glimpsed in this poem which, remember, has a predominantly non-verbal source. Phrases such as "Amazon vested illusion, fashioned fulsome person" and "glistening home consumption commander" are thrown up by the computer, programmed to search for coherent juxtapositions of words, using a lexicon reflecting society's language use at the end of the 20th century. The software inadvertently critiques the society that spawned it.


by Tony Kemplen

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 93/104/EC of 23 November 1993 concerning certain aspects
of the organization of working time
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in
particular Article 118a thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1) ,
In cooperation with the European Parliament(2) ,
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee(3) ,
Whereas Article 118a of the Treaty provides that the Council shall adopt, by
means of directives, minimum requirements for encouraging improvements,
especially in the working environment, to ensure a better level of
protection of the safety and health of workers;
Whereas, under the terms of that Article, those directives are to avoid
imposing administrative, financial and legal constraints in a way which
would hold back the creation and development of small and medium-sized
Whereas the provisions of Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on
the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and
health of workers at work(4) are fully applicable to the areas covered by
this Directive without prejudice to more stringent and/or specific
provisions contained therein;
Whereas the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers,
adopted at the meeting of the European Council held at Strasbourg on 9
December 1989 by the Heads of State or of Government of 11 Member States,
and in particular points 7, first subparagraph, 8 and 19, first
subparagraph, thereof, declared that:

COAADOV DAACOOVVA 93/104/AC od 23 Oovaacdo 1993 coaadovaac doovaac doovcaa
od ova oacdovaacdoo va aocdova acdo
Ovvaac dooaad co ova Acdoov aacdoovaacdo ova Acdoovaa Codovaacd, oov aa
cdoovcaado Ovaacdo 118o vaacdoo,
Vavacd ooaacd oo vaa cdoovaac doov aac Doovaacdoo(1) ,
Va cooadvaacod ovaa cdo Ovaoacdo Vaacdoovaa(2) ,
Cdvooa acdoov ao acd ovaacod ov aac Doovoaac dov Aocado Voaacdova(3) ,
Acdoova Acdoova 118a oc dov Aacdoo vaovadco aacd oov Coaadov aacdo ovoaa, cd
ovaac od ovaacdovoa, acdoova acdoovaacdoo voa acdovaacdoo vaacovdoaacd,
oovacadoov aa cdo ovaacdo ovvaaocdoaa, co dovaac d oovaac dovoa oa
cdovacadoo va acd oovaac doo vaacdo ov aoacdov;
Aacdoov, aadco ova acdoo va acdo Ovaacdo, ovoaa dcovcaavdo oaa co dvoad
acoovaac doovaacdoovava, cdooacado ovd aacoo voaacdovaac do o vaa cdoov
aoacd ovad acoo vaa cdoovaoa cdo vavacodoaac od ovaac doo vadaco-ovaad
Acdoova acd oovvaacodo oa Coadvaa Dcoovaavc 89/391/DOO oa 12 Acdo 1989 va
acd oovaodacovoa oa cdvaacdo ov aacodovaa cdoovvaacdoo aa cdo ovaacd oov
aacdoo va aocdova ac doov(4) aac doova acdoovaacd oo vaa cdoov covaado aa
cdoo Vaacdoova acdoova acdoovaca do ovaa cdoovaacd oov/oa acdovaac
doovaacodo voaacdovd aacoova;
Acdoova acd Oovaacdoo Vaacdoo va acd Oovdaacoova Aocdov Aacdoo va Aocdova,
adocovd aa coo vaacdoo va acd Oovoaacd Ovaacdo ovad ac Oovaacodov oa 9
Dacovaac 1989 do ova Acdoo va Acdoo va oa Covdaacdoo va 11 Acdoov Aacdoo,
vad ac oovaacdoov aoacdo 7, vaacd oovaacdoovaa, 8 cdo 19, ovaac
doovaacdoova, acdoova, dacoovad acoo:

Article 5
Weekly rest period
Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure that, per each
seven-day period, every worker is entitled to a minimum uninterrupted rest
period of 24 hours plus the 11 hours' daily rest referred to in Article 3.
The minimum rest period referred to in the first subparagraph shall in
principle include Sunday.
If objective, technical or work organization conditions so justify, a
minimum rest period of 24 hours may be applied.

Aacdoov 5
Aacdoo vaac doovod
Aacova Acdoov aacdo ovaa cdo ovaacdoo vacadoova ao cdovaa cdoo, vaa cdoo
vavac-doo aacdoo, vvaac dooaac do ovaacdoo vo a acdovaa cdoovaacdoovd aaco
ovaaod oc 24 voaac dova acd 11 oovaa' dcoov aacd oovaacdo ov aa Cdoovaa 3.
Cdo ovaacdo ovaa cdoovd aacoovad ao co vaa cdoov aacdoovaacdo ovaac do
ovaacdoov aacdoov Aacdoo.
Va oacdovava, cdooaacdo ov aoac odvaacdoovoa coadvaaocd ov aacdoov, a
acdoova acdo ovaaod oc 24 voaac dov aa cdoovad.

Article 6
Maximum weekly working time
Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure that, in keeping
with the need to protect the safety and health of workers:
1. the period of weekly working time is limited by means of laws,
regulations or administrative provisions or by collective agreements or
agreements between the two sides of industry;
2. the average working time for each seven-day period, including overtime,
does not exceed 48 hours.

Acoovaa 6
Cdoovaa cdoova aocdova acdo
Ovaacd Oovaac doova acdo ova acdoovaa cdoovaacd oo vaacdo ovaa, cd oovaacd
oova acd oovd ao acovaca doo vaacdo ovd aacoov oa aocdvaa:
1. cdo ovaaod oc vaacdo ovaacdo ovaa cd oovaacd oo vaacd oo vaac,
doovaacdoov oa adcovaacdoovva acodoaaocd ov aa codovcaavd ooaacdoova oa
cdovaacdoo vaacdoo vaa cdo ovdaa oc ovdaacoo;
2. vaa cvdooaa codovaa cdoo voa acdo vavac-doo aacdoo, vacadoova ovacdoaa,
doco voa acdovd 48 aoaco.

Author's note:

Avocado/Avvocato (Audio CD and booklet) --

Avocado/Avvocato (Audio CD and booklet) - work made as part of 'Challenging Rooms', in which members of the artists group utk made work in the homes of people who had responded to an advert in the local paper.

Two elements of Kate's home drew me in, the large number of avocado stones and the European Working Times Directive, with which she was working. The entire text of this legal document was reset using only the letters A,V,O,C,A,D & O, substitution being made when a letter was not available from this esoteric virtual printing set. The result was read out by an Italian speech synthesiser, a choice driven by the wordplay of Avvocato, an Italian lawyer, and Avocado the household's favourite fruit. Despite valiant and persistent efforts, the word avocado never actually occurs in the 45 minute speech monologue.

Tony Kemplen is a fine art graduate who has worked with text and language for a number of years. Having produced several editioned artists books he has now moved on to sound and installation work, often still involving language, and usually in a playful rather than academic way. Recent projects include polyglot, a newly comissioned piece for the Ikon Gallery's 'babel' show, in which a class of animatronic parrots demonstrate the failure of the various artificial language movements over the years and Homer's Baby, comissioned by the Site Gallery for a CDROM, in which the text of Homer's Odyssey is subjected to the excesses of automated word processor functions and text to speech synthesis.

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