The magic of the internet served up a wonderful update to last weeks post, Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground, in the form of a music video by jazz vocalist Cyrille Aimée performing her song, “Nuit Blanche – Live”.
If you cast your mind backwards in time to that earlier post – you may even consider reading the post if you haven’t already – you will remember that Wygart made some hay of the point of how in music the use of vocables can be used as mechanism to instigate a translinguistic process of emotional and spiritual engagement with between artist and audience, creating a kind of semantic synesthesia, where meaning and emotion blur.
In this particular case the artist, Cyrille Aimée is using a technique in her performance called live looping to create, using only her own voice, an ostinato pattern and musical harmonies out layers of vocables which she records samples on a digital sampling station during the course of the performance, and eventually layers in her own voice to sing the lyrics of the song in French.
The results are as you hear – lovely.
It is unfortunate that the French don’t have that word – a real shortcoming. You would thing they might since it is a Romance language, but the English word ‘lovely’ comes from the Old English luflic, which is related to the origin of ‘love’ lufu, which is of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit lubhyati ‘desires,’ which comes around on the Romance side from Latin libet ‘it is pleasing,’ libido ‘desire’.
It is particularly note worth the effect of certain of the background syllables sung behind the lyrics, they sound word-like to the ear, but are non-sense, the semantic brain grasping at straws of gold, and finding only the voices of the spirits.