finding word associations
My problem at the moment is finding rich associations between sound sources. I’m focusing on words that combine well, such as car, door, bell and alarm. This allows the cueing players to set up chains of association, such as car-door, alarm-bell, car-alarm, door-bell. This will, I hope, add to the playfulness of the patterns that emerge from the cues. The difficulty is finding words that relate to more than one other word in the group and have immediately recognisable sounds. So some sounds, like ‘chicken’, are really clear, but have fewer associations with other words. Conversely, some words, such as ‘wheel’, link to lots of other words but are harder to represent clearly through short samples. I’ve found a very useful website to help find word pairs which has made the job a lot easier, but I’m coming to the conclusion that across 24 cue words/sounds, it’s going to be difficult to create a very rich network. It might also be good to have a few outliers in any case that are chosen for their sonic and semantic impact.
I’ve been using Omnigraffle to graph the connections, focusing on categories of sounds (animals, tools, transport etc), and drawing direct links between words (fly-paper) and more general similarities (gun, cannon). It’s a very useful piece of software as it redraws the network every time you make a new link.
I think I’m nearly there with this, but it’s surprisingly more complicated than I anticipated.