Eran's Blog

From Code to Coda

Composer Dganit Elyakim has created a musical piece out of my book Code, and Hateiva music club held a special concert for excerpts from it. The entire adaptation of the book of Genesis is 372 min long. Cod++(e, a).choose (Pronounced Code/Coda) consists of 1595 miniatures for a text-to-speech application, an automated piano, electronically-generated sounds and ready-made audio samples, based not only on my poetry book Code, but also on the software program used to create it.

The book was written by a code designed to uncover all the Haiku poems hidden in The Torah. In order to convert it to a musical composition a lot of thinking had to take place. Samuel Beckett said: “James Joyce was a synthesizer, trying to bring in as much as he could. I am an analyzer, trying to leave out as much as I can”. So the code behind the book Code was an analyzer, like Beckett, trying to leave only the right sounding parts of the Torah inside, but in order to create music, it needed to be modified to become a synthesizer, like Joyce… So in this project my role was to create a musical synthesizer, turning the automatically generated text into speech that is pronounced by the beat.
Dganit Elyakim and I have been collaborating since 2010, and the main motivation for the piece was a miniature she composed to match my sound poem Abavidan (which is a rigorously structured elegy for the Israeli poet David Avidan). The trick was to match each syllable with a musical note, element or move, so that the repetitions in the text would lead to identical repetitions in the musical composition. The result follows.

Therefore the starting point was that every word, excluding G-d, gets a musical interpretation that is the same for each appearance of the same word. From then on, it was Dganit’s magic, with some additional information on her website.