THE PROSODIC BODY
an experiential field of research intermixing the arts and sciences of prosody through movement performance exhibition cross disciplinary and cross cultural collaboration publication teaching architecture retreat vocalization breathing somatics and medicine
begun in 2006 by choreographer Daria Faïn and architect/poet Robert Kocik
Earliest Prosodic Body community experimentation: construction of a dark retreat / dark listening space two stories underground in an abandoned Wall Street bank vault; sounding of each phoneme all at once; community conduction of phoneme sequences, 2008.
Follow-up proposal for the realization of a permanent anechoic dark retreat practice-space and lab in the midst of the hustle & bustle and hubbub of Lower Manhattan. With the generous support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Poetry, speech and the sciences of prosody such as phonology and biolinguistics share the same basic set of prosodic correlates: rhythm, intonation, intensity, sonority, etc. Prosody is affective and interactional. We'd be mutually unintelligible without it (a pathology called aprosodia). Tone of voice causes the condition, transforms the instant, makes up the mind. Prosody conducts conversation, betrays the unspoken, regulates bioprocesses and co-occurs with gesture and intention. Developmentally, prosody is the precursor of both language and music. Ontogenically it is the murmured Motherese. The contemporaneity of the impulse to speak and cosmogenesis is beyond belief.
THE LANGUAGE OF PROSODY
The language of prosody is... the language. The Prosodic Body interrelates and interrogates 3 dimensions of language:
1 the physicality of speech and writing; the segments (phonemes, syllables, roots, etymons, morphemes, the tones, pitches, intensities of amplitude and stress, the places and manners of articulation and their entrenched phonotactics) in interplay with the suprasegmentals (rhythms, stichs, syntax, strophes, sentences, sound structures) along with breath, gestures, movement and entire embodiment
2 the emotionality, musicality, intentionality and interactivity that are the language of prosody
3 the "use'" of language, as a gift given, resolved that our compositions are dedicated to balance and wellbeing
Thus The Prosodic Body is an extensive inquiry into the use of, and nature of, language, with language as its own foil. Is language no more than a cipher or ruse for what we actually mean? How is it related to what's real or true? (It's true that this sentence is not exactly what I feel.) Our interrogation is of course particularly pointed with regard to English. It's not fair to state that the all the globe's environmental-economic-inequity crises are consequents of the sonic and connotative qualities of superpower English. Given the same opportunity for imperious, exploitative overreach, what country would act otherwise? But it is fair to ask, why didn't we, of all peoples, American English speakers, made up of all peoples, crack the code and do otherwise? Ask Karl Rove. Must language be on the fence about harm and helpfulness? ("We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." K. Rove.)
These are a few of our modes or further prosodies generated over the last fifteen years through our working process:
reENGLISH UNDISCOVERY REPARATIVE NARRATIVE
IMPLICATE PROSODY OPTATIVE TUNES
POLITICAL ECONOMY PLEAS COSMOGONIC EMANATION
INLAK'ECH (TRANS SUBJECTIVE INTER CHANGE)
BIOCHEMICAL SOUND SEQUENCES SONIC AMULET
PHILOLOGICAL FAIR TRADE PHONOTACTIC UNSHACKLE
SUCH WORDS (ENLIGHTENING WHATEVER THEY SAY)
TOTALLY CATAPHATIC NONARBITRARY SOUND MEANING WORD THING CORRELATION (OR ONTOMEMES)
DE RE IF Y WORD EMPTINESS (NOT NONSENSE)
HYPOXIC HEARING (FORGETTING TO BREATHE — THAT ENRAPT)
GRAMMATICAL YOGA (AFTER BHARTRARI) BHEDABHEDA IS'ISN'T