It’s been a long time coming…since July anyway, but finally I can post about the updated direction of my project.
Semester 2 of my degree has introduced quite a few changes, but the main one being – I’m no longer looking at producing a theatrical play for my end-of-year assessment.
I’m now looking at putting together an installation/exhibition for the audience and assessors alike.
In Semester 1 of this year, I was looking at the statement:
Are theatrical performances that feature the actors’ natural accent, more effective naturalistically, than imposing unnatural accents and dialects onto actors.
From all the blog posts on this topic, you can see that the experiments did come to a result, and an interesting one at that.
There was quite a lot of interesting feedback on the experiments and after a lot of thinking and positioning, I’ve found a new direction for the project.
My project has now shifted into what I call:
‘The Tassie Tune’: A celebratory exploration into the Tasmanian dialect through verbatim recordings and phonetic transcription of Tasmanian residents.
Basically, my project is now becoming a documentation of the Tasmanian dialect.
There is some documentation available, noting down the Australian accent and its idioms, however, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of notation of the Tasmanian dialect – and it is in this gap of documentation that I hope to cement my work.
So that this post doesn’t become too long, I’ll make a different post detailing more about this new project.
One of the comments made, from my work last semester, went as follows:
‘With an increasingly more inter-connected world, should we be trying to neutralize individual accents and impose a new neutral accent to go along with the English language, or should we be conserving the diversity that human speech has to offer?’
This question is one of the main driving forces that altered my project into its current direction because it made me think about what I want to actually do with my time as an Honours student.
My comment to this question was that I do believe that documentation is important. Individuality is important. Our voices and our accents are part of who we are, and with the increasing inter-connectedness of the world, we are losing some of that vocal individuality.
This is where I feel that my project fits in.
Tasmania is fast gaining recognition for its film industry, with bigger and bigger projects being organised and filmed in locations around our island state.
Documentation such as mine, could be used for actors, not native from here, to take on a more modern Tasmanian accent; or the documentation could also be used as societal and geographical studies to do with the area.
More study could be done into why the relatively-small Bass Strait stretch of water, creates such a different vocal quality in our speech – then that of the mainland Australia.
For my Honours project, I will be just focusing on the Launceston region due to time and budget restraints, however the project could easily be opened to the remainder of the Tasmanian state with more time and budget.
The Launceston region does still have differing suburbs, with a diverse range of citizens living in each one – so hopefully my documentation will still prove to be an interesting look into the vocal sounds of our local community.
I’m very passionate about my new direction, and am keen to begin recordings and ‘start the ball rolling’ in terms of documenting and putting together a coherent installation piece for assessment.
Stay tuned for further updates, and don’t forget to always be awesome!