Evolving the language of love
It all began when Eduardo had an idea for creating a piece of music where I would write the lyrics in a language I’d invented that had been evolved to demonstrate the separate stages of its evolution.
This language became Vōv, which translates to 'love'. It is a working language in the same way that Esperanto is a constructed language, or 'conlang'.
I first met Professor Eduardo Miranda in 2016 at the EG Conference – an annual conference of creative talents. We talked about his musical ideas – including a prequel to 'The Tempest' by William Shakespeare, as an opera using one of my languages – but I didn’t think much more about it.
However, Eduardo soon got in touch: 'Okay, maybe we can start to talk seriously about this piece of music'. I was like, oh my goodness, he was serious. Everything he said on that first day was pretty much everything he ended up wanting to do.
So, for Plymouth's 2017 Contemporary Music Festival, in the space of a few months, I created Vōv, a language that I evolved over six different stages. I chose three of those periods to write lyrics in, a poem on the evolution of love.
Eduardo gave me the choice to hear it first, and I said, 'I don’t want to – surprise me'. I heard it for the first time as an 18-minute piece, also called 'Vōv', all sung in my created language with four singers. It was really weird. It was really out there. But in the end, it was quite beautiful.