w i n d s o u n d

windsound may be thought of as a text movie animated by transliteral morphs (textual morphing based on letter replacements) from one 'nodal' text to another.

First cross-platform QuickTime version now available - see below.

windsound won the electronic literature organisation's prize for poetry in 2001. Heather McHugh's remarks on the piece were very interesting and encouraged me to think more about the apparatus of literal processing in a recent essay, inner workings.

windsound screen

I have just completed (Jan'06) an initial 'QuickTime rendition' of windsound. This makes it cross-platform for the first time, so long as you have QuickTime installed. Please note that you will need a broadband connection to launch it by clicking on the smaller icon below. Please be patient. It will take a minute or two of loading before the movie will run smoothly. Once enough of it has downloaded, you will also need to click the 'play' button and/or select View -> Present Movie. I will be working on more professional delivery shortly, and I am even thinking of making a version to display on iPods.

l a u n c h     w i n d s o u n d
in QuickTime Player

Please recall that all the transliteral morphs and resulting transitional states of the text were software-generated, and the speech synthesis was 'live' under HyperCard and Mac Classic (OS 9 and before). The QuickTime rendition is, however, a more or less conventional movie, the record of a performance. You may also download a local copy of the QuickTime version of windsound and its associated audio file packed into the archive 'windsoundQT.sit' from: http://homepage.mac.com/shadoof/FileSharing9.html which will load into this frame after you click the link. (Keep the two .mov files in the same folder after you have unpacked the archive.)

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to download the original HyperCard version

The HyperCard version of this work is still for Macintosh only. 'windsound' requires (as minimum): - an Apple PowerMac computer with about 32 Mb RAM; - system 8.6 or better; - Macintalk Pro (speech synthesizer) installed, including the voices: 'Bruce, high quality', 'Victoria, high quality' and 'whisper'; - the fonts Monaco and Courier installed; - a display of at least 800 x 600 pixels. Under Mac OS X 'windsound' runs under in the Classic environment.

If you have a suitable Mac, all you need is the download. The download is approximately 1 Mb and it will start immediately if you click the link below.

You may download the standalone version of windsound and its associated files packed into the archive 'windsound.sit' from: http://homepage.mac.com/shadoof/FileSharing9.html which will load into this frame after you click the link. (Nb: you can also download the QuickTime version from this page.)

r e a d i n g   w i n d s o u n d

starting up and closing down

To start: double-click windsound (stack/application icon).

To close: either let the performance finish and click 'END' or to exit quickly Command-[full stop] and Quit.


- To read windsound in 'full screen' mode (recommended), set your monitor to 800x600 pixels.

- Once 'windsound' is open simply click the 'Begin' button.

- 'windsound' is designed to be watched and read like a film. The complete showing takes about 20 minutes. Ideally, you should just watch it through to completion. However, there are a few simple controls:

- pressing and holding down the shift and command keys returns to the beginning of the 20 minute sequence and/or allows a clean exit using the 'End' button;
- pressing and holding down the option key skips (after a short time) to the 'credits' section of the sequence (which is integral to the piece).

- When reading 'windsound' you should: 1) see animated text, 2) hear a continuous low-level audio track, and, at various appropriate times, 3) hear synthesized speech from one or other of the three voices.

a few more more notes

The nodal texts of 'windsound' were written expressly for the piece. My own translation of a Song period lyric, 'Cadence: Like a Dream' by Qin Guan (1049-1100) is also used.

Although 'windsound' plays as an all-but-linear movie, the transitional texts are algorithmically generated. Later pieces, further developing these principles, are both navigable and have transitional phases which are generated 'on the fly'.