spectrographic artwork

Can I tell you about something I came across on a university website recently – an intriguing combination of speech science and civil liberties, in the Tony Benn sonograms, created by an artist called Tracey Moberley.

Being clueless about copyright I don’t want to copy the images to publish here, so you’ll just have to follow the link:

But please do click on it – it’s a stunning image of a spectrogram as phoneticians don’t normally see it. More typically those vivid blues and yellows are simply shades of grey, and the tiny black squiggles at the bottom look like they might be a little confirmatory waveform – with the words at the bottom provided in ordinary writing, unaligned with the acoustic data.

I think most LabPhonistas would like it.


5 thoughts on “spectrographic artwork

  1. Tony Benn is great!

    Found them on the homepage of a conference which i tried to register for, only to be told it was already oversubscribed, how annoying is that.


  2. Tony Benn is certainly one of our more interesting politicians, and I have a certain fondness for him which I don’t have for most of the current set. He was also my member of parliament during my teens. But he’s very far left (I don’t know enough about the far left to know whether Communist, Marxist etc are appropriate terms), so “great” is not a word I would have used.


  3. Well, maybe …

    He just strikes me as someone who has principles, and acts on them, and is bigger than party politics. That makes him different from most other politicians straight away – perhaps naively I think it’s important to respect people that stand by their beliefs – simply *being* rightwing or leftwing is better than not knowing your right from your left, i suppose.

    sorry for the delayed reply btw, yesterday i was printing my thesis (exciting huh) (might submit it on Mon, altho i’m afraid to say it until it actually happens)


  4. Afterthought which should have gone in the original post – i wonder how the spectrogram images were created. Presumably just with a program like Audacity which allows you to view the spectrogram in colour but with the display stretched on the y-axis? Looks like the voice bar has been chopped off from the bottom too.


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