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Text In Performance

Welcome to the website for Tools for Listening to Text-in-Performance, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Marit MacArthur (Cal State Bakersfield & UC Davis) and Neil Verma (Northwestern) are Project Directors, with Mara Mills (NYU) as co-investigator and Lee Miller (UC Davis) and Robert Ochshorn as consultants.

This project will train humanists in two digital tools, Gentle and Drift, which work together to align text with audio tracks and measure pitch-shifting. This makes these tools especially useful for noisy spoken recordings such as those humanists often study.

The training in these tools will take place along three tracks. The first will involve the archives of the key investigators: Mara Mills (NYU) working on recordings of talking books, Marit MacArthur (UC Davis) with poetry readings, and Neil Verma (Northwestern) with Orson Welles’s radio plays. The second track will involve in-person meetings for interested scholars at two meetings of the Great Lakes Association for Sound Studies (GLASS) in April and October, 2018 The third track will involve independent user-testers from across the country working on their own archives.

Through all three of these channels, we will be soliciting feedback from scholars in order to work with the developer to adjust these tools to better suit the needs of humanities scholars, to make them easier to use, and to ensure they are making useful measurements to help answer humanities-based questions.

Our hope is to transform the kinds of questions we ask of recordings of sound culture history, and to create a community of researchers around these evolving new methods.