Odyssey 1.1-10 audio recording

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Paul Derouda
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Odyssey 1.1-10 audio recording

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:05 pm

Since I've been critiquing other poster's recordings of Homer, I decided to try my hand at overcoming my various speech disorders and recording a short bit myself. It's the beginning of book 1 of the Odyssey. For practical reasons, I'm trying to represent the pronunciation of 5th century Athens, not real Homer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YrjwRt ... e=youtu.be

Although I've always tried to pronounce Greek mentally, I've never tried to record it before, so please be lenient! I even tried the pitch accent, though I don't know if it's at all successful. But as far as I know, my biggest problem is η, which is sometimes open, sometimes too closed and difficult to distinguish from ει.

The volume is too low, I'm not sure how to fix that. I recorded this with my iPhone and imported through iMovie, which explains the poor audio quality...

C. S. Bartholomew
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Re: Odyssey 1.1-10 audio recording

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:31 pm

I was able to identify words listening without looking at the text. Then I brought up the text and read along. Sounded pretty good to me. There were a few places where i didn't quite get it but I am not familiar with anything but the system attributed to Erasmus.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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jeidsath
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Re: Odyssey 1.1-10 audio recording

Post by jeidsath » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:00 pm

I've been waiting for this! Thank you for the recording.

My favorite exercise for my own recordings, is to write down in Greek what I think I'm saying. I'm away from my computer, but I will do this with your recording on Monday. It sounds very good. But there is still something missing (as from my and other recordings). Google for Drunk Man Looks at a Thistle on YouTube for an example of how I think a fluent, but rhythmic, reading can sound.

We should have an audio practice thread where we all record the same thing, choosing new verse or prose every so often.

Also, some sort of thread where we have to repeat after one another, without a text, would be a useful exercise.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Re: Odyssey 1.1-10 audio recording

Post by mwh » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:19 pm

I like it Paul. It’s miles better than anything I could do. (I can’t do pitch accents for the life of me, or not without overstressing.) I don’t like your complete enjambement of 1-2 (better at 8-9), and I wonder why you don’t nasalize 3 εγνω. Some of your accented longs seem excessively long to my ear (esp. βοῦς). Accent wrong on Διος at end? Your η sounded fine to me, though when I concentrate on the sound I suppose it can be rather too close to ει (e.g. in πλαγχθη επει τροιης), but knowing the words I find it hard to hear the sounds acoustically; it would be easier if it were nonsense, or a vocalic sequence of some kind. The only vowel that jarred a little as I listened was the final one, though by end of 5th century I guess ει and long ι were already pretty close.

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Re: Odyssey 1.1-10 audio recording

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:51 am

Thanks for your nice comments.

Joel, I checked that Youtube bit you recommended and I agree. For me, I don't know if I can improve a lot. I can get the sounds better with a lot of practice, but the rhythm is another thing; there's a reason some people are professional speakers and I'm not... Poetry I can manage once know the thing by heart, but I'm pretty bad at reading prose even in my own language. They employ different neural pathways or something, I guess. Maybe you've seen the movie The King's Speech - it shows the sort of thing I'm talking about.

I recorded the thing at least fifty times today before accepting this one...
mwh wrote:I like it Paul. It’s miles better than anything I could do. (I can’t do pitch accents for the life of me, or not without overstressing.) I don’t like your complete enjambement of 1-2 (better at 8-9), and I wonder why you don’t nasalize 3 εγνω. Some of your accented longs seem excessively long to my ear (esp. βοῦς). Accent wrong on Διος at end? Your η sounded fine to me, though when I concentrate on the sound I suppose it can be rather too close to ει (e.g. in πλαγχθη επει τροιης), but knowing the words I find it hard to hear the sounds acoustically; it would be easier if it were nonsense, or a vocalic sequence of some kind. The only vowel that jarred a little as I listened was the final one, though by end of 5th century I guess ει and long ι were already pretty close.
I agree about most of your comments, several of these points are actually better in many of those 50+ other attempts that are inferior in other respects... I think there has to be some enjambment between 1 and 2 but it's very delicate, clearly it's not ok in this version. On the other hand, I think it should be shorter than between eg 2 and 3.

Nasalizing εγνω is obvious now that you say it, I just didnt think about that! Διος too I've been doing wrong all along!

For the long vowels, I use my native language Finnish, which also has distinctive vowel length, as a guide. For that reason I wouldn't think the long vowels are too long from a phonetic point of view - but they might well be from a poetic point of view. For βοῦς, one reason it's so long is that I'm trying to put a caesura there. It's a delicate question of rhythm, and I think in this one case I think I'm doing more offence to Homer than to the Greek language... But how exactly the interplay between the pitch accent vs. the meter vs. vowel length plays out in each case is of course a complicated matter, and anything I utter is bound to be a wild conjecture...

"The only vowel that jarred a little as I listened was the final one, though by end of 5th century I guess ει and long ι were already pretty close"
Do you mean the ι in ημιν? I think that's because I'm naturally using Finnish /i/, which is too open to accomodate ει (which I try to pronounce like in French nez). I should do it more closed like French /i/, but it's difficult to mix vowel sounds from different languages consistently...

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