Transmission of 3926 phonemes in the direction of space, moon bouncing, echo reception, combinatorial calculator (blockchain), 177′ films, 13′ film, 177′ sound piece, analog print, handwritten list of phonemes, performance.

Co-creation with Simon Ripoll-Hurier.

Collaboration with Philippe F5JWF, Julien Griffit, Dan HB9CRQ, Krishna May, Guillaume Robert et Victor Zebo.

A universal alphabet – Tibetans at IBM – Krishna the Conlanger – 3926 phonemes on the Moon – A million-year-long calculation

In 1888, British and French linguists created the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), a universalist tool for notation of spoken language. Increased over time, this alphabet make possible to phonetically transcribe any manifestation of speech. Could it, conversely, become a score?

In 1953, Arthur C. Clarke published The Nine Billion Names of God, a short story in which Tibetan monks try to find the “true name of God” by combining with IBM engineers all the possibilities of arrangements of their alphabet on a maximum sequence of nine letters.

Krishna May is a member of the Language Creation Society. Over the past ten years, he has been developing several languages ​​of his invention. In this perspective, and to be able to sing in all languages ​​of the world, he has trained his phonatory organ to pronounce most of the signs of the IPA. Combined together in pairs, these constitute a list of 3926 phonemes.

On April 30, 2022 at 6:30 UTC, Krishna May took place at the microphone of a powerful Swiss radioamateur  station (HB9Q in Aarau). He pronounces the 3926 phonemes in the direction of the Moon, which reflects part of the signal. Stations here and there – including F5JWF on the flanks of the Jura – pick up a distant echo. The rest is lost in space.

At the end of May 2022, computer engineer Julien Griffit activates a blockchain-shaped calculator which begins to combine, without memory and for an indefinite time, the 150 main characters of the IPA on a sequence of increasing letters. Words of one to four letters are calculated in less than ten minutes, those with five letters in less than twenty-four hours. The calculation of the six-letter words will take more than four months. Assuming a constant speed of calculation, the exhaustion of seven-letter words will take about fifty years, eight-letter words about eight millennia, and nine-letter words more than a million years.