ATEC Professor Receives Grant for Social Media Mashup

August 21, 2013

Scot Gresham-Lancaster
Scot Gresham-Lancaster

Scot Gresham-Lancaster (Associate Professor of Sound Design in the UT Dallas Arts and Technology program) has been awarded a major NEA grant via the New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. (NRPA) and for a social media mashup that uses the dynamic input of users to continuously rewrite some sonnets of William Shakespeare. To view the page the user must phonetically rhyme a word or short phrase. For example: “unhappily forsworn” can be rhymed as “so snappily untorn” or  “captain” becomes “napkin” etc. These rhymes, that are offered by users dynamically, replace the original text of the sonnet. Prosody is maintained, but meaning is transformed.


When the entire sonnet is replaced with user text the process continues to recursively generate and replace with the most recent rhyming. These would be rhymings of rhymings. An english accented text to speech program will be run to hear the new variation. A computer synthesizer with algorithmic variations of Lachrimae, or Seven Tears by John Dowland will be playing with timbre changes based on the statistical letter use in the new rhyming of the sonnet. The more the statistical variation the greater the musical change. The user can choose to hear the voice and/or the Dowland variation playback or just read the “perturbed sonnet”.


This piece will be realized in conjunction with ATEC graduate students to allow them to participate in an internet project of international scope and practice, and will be available for public use in April of 2014.