I am not an expert in scientific and linguistic words. Rather than explaining their particular characters, I put them into music, being guided by their phonic attractions. My approach belongs to a musician, sensitive to all types of sounds from the rain on a zinc roof to the 840 languages of Papouasia-New-Guinea.
I may have been led to create BabelEyes by these sounds, because another type of semantics exists in the world of art and it derives its meaning and value from the fact that we do not master it, we do not understand it. This happens to all of us, when we travel abroad and we do not speak the language. We try to get understood in another way, try to get in contact with the environment with all our other senses. According to me this alternative grammar is similar to musical semantics.
Languages are incredible inventions, and every single one is a precious archive of human history. The fact that we are allowing and forcing them to disappear on such a scale saddens me greatly. With each disappearance, our world loses another set of eyes through which its colors, odors, flora, fauna, sounds, music, discoveries, and secrets can be perceived in a unique way.
If BabelEyes can succeed in conveying to its audience a subliminal message of indignation, then I will be ever so happy to have done my part to help brake this so-called “progress”."
Where do “ Virgin languages ” of BabelEyes come from ?
They come from singing, so that each syllable is directly related to a note. Similar to tonal languages, they are fully chromatic, unlike the latter. They are also rhythmic, like the drum-influenced language of the Banda Linda tribe. Their grammar is Music itself.
Is the purpose of Virgin Languages simply to invent new sonorities ?
No, it goes far beyond that. In any case, what does it even mean today to invent something new? Instead, I have tried to create bridges between domains that are not easily brought together, thereby hoping to find sonorities that speak and convey sense, and also sensitize listeners to endangered languages.
Do Virgin Languages really have something to do with endangered languages ? If so, which ones ?
Yes. Some examples are :
• Bantu and Khoïsan families, including the click-languages of the Kalahari desert
• The drum-influenced language of the Banda Linda, in dialogue with its “contemporary version”: the MSN (where mouse-clicks and keyboard commands play percussion)
• The whistle-languages of Gomera in the Canary Islands, and the Tepehua language of the Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico
• Arctic languages, making use of the Inuktitut syllabary, which is now joining the endangered list. “Land Inuit, Caribou Eskimos, Iglulik Eskimos, Netsilik Eskimos”
Qualna Iglulik, Caribou è qualna Inuït, qualna anga qualna Netsilik,
dalnô iktuut aluunike, qualna qualna qualnanaé
Qualna qualna qualnanaé is an Inuit lullaby. In this music, certain words appear only so as to better disappear. “Ganik” is one of the many names that Inuits have for snow, indicating its degree of resistance. “Titanic”, followed by a tremolo on strings represents the languages which are sinking in the submerged part of the iceberg.
But this does not apply to others that have already long disappeared, such as Linear B and Sumerian.
Nor does it apply to those studied in a bilingual context, such as Latin and Sanskrit.