Mara Battiste, one of my classmates in Form Follows Data (from the Electronic and Time-Based Art department), is a practicing artist and art teacher. She came into class the other day with an analysis of Beyonce's songs - turns out they break down nicely into four categories that go something like this:
- That man done me wrong and I ain't pleased (example: Resentment)
- I'm really hot and awesome and don't need that guy (example: Single Ladies)
- So totally in love (example: Crazy In Love)
- Let me just sing about sex (example: Fever)
So she'd been trying to do audio manipulation and make some generic Beyonce mashups - what's the overarching "That man done me wrong and I ain't pleased" Beyonce song? - but the musical styles for the similarly-themed songs were all over the place and it sounded horrid.
"Why not try it with just the lyrics?" I suggested. "You could run all the songs for a given class through a Markov generator..."
I'll let Wikipedia explain it, but the quick demo I whipped up with an online generator was sufficient to crack up the class. And I dunno, but maybe I'll get requests to help with some generator code later on... but in any case, behold: excerpts from Beyonce's "Single Ladies" mashed up with Raffi's "Bananaphone."
All the single ladies)
All the single ladies (all the one you shoulda put a ring ring
Banana phone, ring ring on it
If you like it then you shoulda put a call around the single ladies (all the best! Beats the single ladies)
All the single ladies (all the single ladies (all the one you like it
then you shoulda put your phone with a ring ring ring on my cup (cup)
I got this feeling, so appealing,
for pizza. I'll call the single ladies (all the white house, have a ring ring ring on it
If you had your phone with a ring ring ring on it
If you see that thing!
Cause another brother noticed me
Cause another brother and papa phone,
a ring banana phone
If you like it then you shoulda put a ring ring on it
Cause if you think
Here's a friend of the single ladies (all the rest!
Cellular, modular, interactivodular!
Ring ring ring ring on my hips (hips)
Hold me Beijing-jing-jing-jing!
(Soprano Sax Solo)