Proposal for an audiotape/radio composition of and about the sound of NYC speech: I Was Born in New York City

People commonly speak of a “New York accent,” but those of us more familiar with the sound of my home town know there are many accents indigenous to NYC, each reflective of different ethnic groups, different boroughs, different classes and different years of birth. For this audiotape composition I plan to record at least one hundred New Yorkers, saying “I was born in New York City in [year]” and then adding where their parents came from, in what neighborhoods they grew up, where they went to schools, etc. My expectation is that from these field recordings I will compose a piece of speech-music that will begin as a sequence of solos, ordered not only for chronological exposition and sociological intelligence but for sonic values. I imagine that voices will quickly come up over each other (as New Yorkers are wont to do), from different parts of the stereo spectrum; but before long, they will be heard speaking in duets, electronically mixed and stereophonically arrayed, and then trios, quartets, and quintets, as I hope to find in choral arrangements a New York City sound that would not be so audible in one voice alone. There is no need to use any acoustic processing or any sounds other than native voices. I envision a multitrack piece that would be at least thirty and perhaps sixty minutes long. I Was Born in New York City will hopefully take its place beside other extended audiotapes of mine that were composed of and about the sound of a certain subject--baseball (1986), New York City (1984), the Jewish Diaspora (1990) and the language of prayer (1981); and if this new piece turns out as well as its predecessors, it will probably be broadcast around the world and perhaps released as well on record or cassette. No matter how long it takes to make the source tapes, I would need a few months to consider the raw tapes and perhaps forty hours in multitrack studio to compose it. Institutions interested in supporting this project should contact me. Thank you.