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Derek Ball Alien Calls Earth, An - First & Second Messages (2007 - 2009) 5'
Cl Perc

All Contributors: Derek Ball (composer)
Notes: For Paul & Daniel Roe

Programme Note:

A disembodied alien being, consisting of enormous networks of complex resonance circuits traversing an electromagnetically stabilised area of ionised plasma within a gigantic interstellar gas cloud, has received radio broadcasts from earth which he finds intriguing, but only partly comprehensible. He decides to use his telekinetic powers to assemble primitive plant materials (mainly blocks and tubes of woody substance) from a nearby planet with which to reconstruct human speech and put together a reply to Earth.

These two pieces, as near as we can manage, reproduces the result of his efforts. In trying to decipher what the alien is trying to tell us, remember that his circuits don't move as fast as ours, and that although he appreciates something about the microstructure and broad rhythms of human speech, he doesn't know much about grammar.. or vocabulary.. or logic. In fact, gas in just about all he knows, but he knows lots of that.

In the first piece, the Alien practises isolated words a few at a time, then strings them together in what he believes are sentences. He knows that speech is organised sound, and what better way to organise it than to use that ordering device which humans are very keen on, the alphabet! "Sunday we Telephone Umbones - Vying": those humans should be impressed that he knows a thing or two about their language!

In the second piece, the Alien has made some progress in discovering what speech is for. Perhaps he is horrified by what he understands to be the bizarre conditions in which the humans live, and wants to impress them by describing the far superior mode of life in an interstallar gas cloud (where Noxious Odoriferous Plasma Quakes Resonantly). The result is like a travel brochure, arranged alphabetically of course.