Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Return of Dictionaraoke

In 2001, Chicago's Jima had an interesting idea. On-line dictionaries, like, say, Merriam-Webster's website, have audio pronunciation guides - look up a word and you can click on a sound file of an announcer actually pronouncing the word. What if you sampled lots of these words and strung them together in a song? The result was dictionaraoke: "Audio clips from online dictionaries sing the hits of yesterday and today," over instrumental music often provided by cheezy karaoke backing tracks. The contributors were mainly members of the Negativland mailing list.

Over the years, many of the links were broken, but the entire project has been revived and hosted by The result is hours of deadpan, robotic amusement like:

pimpdaddysupreme: Cameo's "Word Up"

Animals Within Animals: "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang
" - Who knows how many hours (days?) it took to make this remarkable remake of Dr Dre and Snoop Doggy Woggy's hip-hop hit.


stAllio! said...

i know this was probably a rhetorical question, but i want to say it took about 2-3 nights to finish "G thang"... i don't remember exactly, as this was three or four years ago.

Alexis said...

I'm so glad that site's finally working smoothly again! I've put the dictionaraoke version of Green Eggs and Ham on numberous mix CDs.

Pimpdaddysupreme said...

Be prepared for an Xmas treat. Dictionaraoke is undergoing some renovations. Hint: 100 more songs, remixes, videos and a new concept called Thesaurasongs!!

I'll be announcing some of this on "Word of mouth" on BBC4 soon.

Figured I'd share the good news.

Mr Fab said...

Excellent, keep us updated.

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