Dirk Veulemans - Composer

1/4  Old letter tray

2/4  Old letter tray

3/4  Printing letters

4/4  Tendequaar (screenshot)


Text is a fixation of an idea, a product of a human brain, with letters on a carrier. Each letter mark has its own history, from prehistoric times to the present. The creation of a letter has been a process of many centuries. It is a sign formed by the use of people. It is remarkable that something as abstract as a sign is deformed or shaped by use in the same way as, for example, a material for use. A written sign is therefore often, or perhaps even usually, much more interesting than the text in which it is caught.


The work Tendequaar consists of a computer program which dissects a text in real time. That is, at the moment it is typed. The statistical results of this are used, also in real time, to simultaneously compose a synthetic text. A pseudo-text.


During the execution of this composition, more and more text is entered, as a result of which more and more information is gathered and analysed, creating a pseudo-text. This sounds more and more Dutch when reading, while the words become more and more unrecognisable.

The Primal

In this composition the attention shifts from text which carries semantics, to spelling and finally to the characters themselves: the atomic carriers of human intelligence. In the end, they come to the foreground completely and alone. By going back to the basic form we come into contact with the primal.

Music of phonemes

The sound that is sent through the computer together with the image follows an analogous, though slightly less strict, evolution. The sound of the spoken words "letter, word, sentence, syntax, semantics" is decomposed into sounds and phonemes which then evolve into stand-alone sounds in the same way as the text of comprehensible sound fragments. No longer carrying a message, but as separate sounds that are assembled into music. The letter tapping machine also makes a relevant contribution with its sounds, and the bass tone, which gradually becomes clearer like a bourdon, fulfils the role of carrier, of paper. In 1992, it was quite an achievement for a computer to bring both image and sound to the listener as live electronics.

Source text

The text that needs to be entered to bring the composition to life can be any text and written in any language. The only condition is that this text must consist of the same characters as those which are available on a computer. During the performance of this composition, a Dutch text was typed, the content of which is also related to that of this work. Not the text itself was visible, but pseudo-text resulting from its stochastic data.

"The Character"

The entered text comes from a book written by Paul Moyaert. Very interesting to also read that text, via the link below, you will get to it. Many thanks to Paul Moyaert for the permission to show it on this website! This text has not been translated.

laatste update: 2021.06.06

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