soUNDscores and more: End of Business 2

Hello again.

Very happy to announce the publication of End of Business 2, edited by Ryan Funk.

Issue 2 follows a strong 1st issue that featured work by Kevin Killian, Parker Tilghman, Karen Brennan, and Claire Taylor.

A mash-up of (text) art and corporate design, End of Business gives new life to “borrowed time,” literally.  Funk elaborates in his call for submissions:

“EOB is a phrase used in the corporate world to mean end of the business day.  i.e. get this report to my desk by EOB!  During a slow work day, I make an urgent call for submissions, and by 5:00 pm PST, you have the at-work journal of art and literature delivered to your inbox!”

Today at 11:38am (PST), an undisclosed number of “Artists, Writers, Poets, Designers, Friends” were invited to submit work.

The submission deadline:  3:30 pm.

At 4:50 pm (with “an extra 15 minutes to fight traffic!”), Funk emailed this document (pdf):  End of Business 2.

What’s inside is a playful collaging of work by artists from the Bay Area and beyond.

Contributors include (in order of appearance):

Justin Limoges

Claire Taylor

Steve Tomasula

Denise Newman

Tom Comitta

Jeff Von Ward

Jeremy Bearer-Friend

Adam Fagin

Hugh Behm-Steinberg

Patrick Weeks


Kudos to Ryan Funk for great design and an exciting second issue.

Until soon,



soUNDvideo: leaked embassy cable opera


Below you’ll find two videos of the third guerrilla opera:

MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (Prozac for your AntiSec).

They were both recorded on a smartphone and edited with basic editing software.

The first is a 15’17” documentation of the opera:  approx. 1 clip per 30 min. of the opera.

The second, B Side, is a much shorter clip–one of my favorite moments of the opera.





soUNDtangent: MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (Prozac for your AntiSec)

you’re invited to sing with us in the third guerrilla opera of SF Guerrilla Opera:

MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (Prozac for your AntiSec)

Here’s the full invitation:


Dear Friends,

You are invited to sing on July 12 in SF Guerrilla Opera’s adaptation of the film classic: MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (Prozac for your AntiSec).

Feel free to come by and sing with us
at any time
for as long as you’d like.

Here’s the score:


MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (Prozac for your AntiSec):

1. At 7am on the 12th, the SF Guerrilla Opera company arrives in front of the Phillip Burton Federal Building (450 Golden Gate Ave) with 500 pages of leaked US Embassy cables (librettos).

2. We sing from these librettos until 7pm that night.


That’s it!


1. It’s no coincidence that Tuesday is also the first day of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing in the UK.

2. This is a celebration of open, healthy communication, information, honesty, art, poetry, and whatever else you want it to be.

3. “Singing” is completely open to interpretation. As always, the only Guerrilla Opera direction is to sing only as feels right in the moment–with no pre-planned stage direction or acting.

3. Contact Tom Comitta for any questions. Refer his Twitter account (@TomComitta) on Tuesday for on-location updates.

Until Tuesday!

All our best,

SF Guerrilla Opera



soUNDtext gets some press!  Kate Conger for SF Weekly takes interest in soUNDtext and our readings at the Bay Area Poetry Marathon.  A great night overall.  Here you’ll find information on the July and August BayPo Marathons.

And here, again, you’ll find Samantha Boudrot’s “U Q Y for soUNDtext,” the song discussed in the review.

Have a great weekend!




Hello again!  Today I’ll show you the dynamics of the soUNDfonts made for soUNDtext and how to make your own.


Once released, the word processor will come with four distinct soUNDfonts:


“default” (as heard in google goggle),

“U Q Y” by Samantha Boudrot,

a mashup of “Cats and Frogs” voices,

and a “Watermark.”


Here’s a showcase spectacular of the four:


And anyone can make a font:  the process of making and using a soUNDfont is just this:

create a folder of 96 sound files and DROP it into the program.


Here’s an example of one soUNDfont artist’s method:

For intermedia artist Samatha Boudrot’s “U Q Y,” she recorded an a cappella version of her song “U Q Y for soUNDtext” and isolated (created “samples” of) 96 moments of the recording.  The song is a pangram like “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”–it includes every letter in the alphabet.  Here are the lyrics with notes Sam took while transforming the song into soUNDfont:




And here’s the first page of the soUNDfont character key used to organize the font-making process:

U Q Y to font


Here you can download the entirety of the soUNDfont key (a Word document).

All of the above fonts were made with the assistance of this key.  Once the program is released (very soon!), we look forward to hearing and writing with your soUNDfonts and soUNDtext recordings (the program lets you record live sound).


Stay tuned for the release.  We’re currently in the process of rethinking our distribution–want this to go as smoothly as possible for everyone.


Thanks for stopping by!




Welcome to the soUNDtext blog.

I plan to use this site to launch the soUNDtext sound poetry machine (available for download July 1). Once released, I will place a call for submissions of scores written for the machine. Selected scores will be published on this blog for easy copy-and-paste-ability. Eventually, I would like to publish an anthology of these scores as a PDF and in-print.


But first, what is soUNDtext?

soUNDtext (sounds like “sound und text”) was developed in Spring 2011 by Tom Comitta with the technical assistance of artist Barney Haynes.  It has been called a sound poetry machine, drum machine, word processor, and (cyborg) sound poet.

How it works:  The program reads text as ASCII code and assigns that code a sound.

While soUNDtext will come with three “sound-fonts” (the voices of poet-artists Samantha Boudrot and Tom Comitta as well as a mashup of cats and frogs), any user can input their own voice. Once a sound-font is chosen, a user is offered keyboard access (like a drum machine) or the ability to sonically read a pre-written text (word processing).


Further explanation can be found in the below video (a demo from poet Brian Ang’s reading series):

“from THE FOUR SEASONS” @ 2’30”

“pdbq” @ 3’38”

“ +” @ 4’32”

“ae” sonic ligature/collaboration with Mathew Timmons @ 8’25”




And here (below) is a performance of this score: +



google goggle:


Thanks for reading!

I’ll post here at least once a week.

Tom Comitta