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2009 - week 32, from 8 August - Invented Languages

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:08 am
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Julien Jacob - Dierel - Barham - Benin - Volvox - VOL 0701

2 - Rhett Brewer - Milennia - Hotel de Ville - UK - Ex-Directory - EX-CD01

3 - DVA - Dua Dua - Fonok - Czech Republic - Indies - MAM435-2

4 - Toto Bona Lokua - Lisanga - Music from the Chocolate Lands - Congo/ Cameroon / Martinique - Putumayo - PUT 230-2

5 - Sjihan During, feat Arto Tuncboyaciyan - Otro Mundo - Afro Anatolian Tales - Turkey/Armenia - RMP - RMP 8057

6 - Sui Vesan - Harmonia Mundi - Renewal - Slovakia - Sui Music - N174 00002-2-331


Each time I run across another artist who invents his/her/their own language, I think, ‘I must do a whole programme devoted to such people’ and finally the moment has arrived, triggered by the debut album from the Czech duo, DVA, which is turning into one of my favourite of albums this summer.

Julien Jacob

I’m not sure if all these artists adopt the same approach as each other, but recall Julien Jacob saying that he has established a coherent language for his imaginary world, so that the same words recur in applicable situations. Barham is the second album by the engaging Paris-based singer from Benin and has been picked up for international distribution by Tropical Records of Germany.

Rhett Brewer

There are times when Rhett Brewer sounds like an opera singer, which may have mislead me into thinking he was singing in Latin or Italian, but he assures me he makes everything up.


In the booklet of their album, the two members of DVA list all the lyrics of their songs in three languages, one of which is an invented Inuit dialect. I like several tracks on the album and chose ‘Dua Dua’ for this programme mainly because I have not played it on here before. But the more I listen, the better this one gets.

Toto Bona Lokua

Thanks to listener Nikki Akinjinmi for alerting me to ‘Lisanga’ by the trio Toto Bona Lokua, first included on their album for the No Format label (*) and picked up by compiler Jacob Edgar for the Putumayo album Music from the Chocolate Lands, whose sleeve note points out that the words are not in a real language. (*) Meaningless coincidence: On Wednesday I met the head of No Format Records for the first time, who passed me an advance copy of his label’s next album, an all instrumental duet between Malian kora player Ballake Sissoko and French cellist Vincent Segal.

Arto Tuncboyaciyan

I have always assumed that the distinctive songs of the Turkish Armenian singer Arto Tuncboyaciyan were delivered in an Armenian language, but have recently discovered that he makes it up. I don’t know if he improvises every time or if he works from a preconceived structure.

Sui Vesan

The Slovak singer Sui Vesan gives the impression of improvising. I must settle things by asking her.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:12 am
by Charlie
email from:

1. Dave MIller, Leicester,UK.

Hi Charlie,

Love the show, you have introduced me to so much.

The show today was a real hoot! This is what I call world music. NOBODY understands a bloody word!

Esperanto special next.

Seriously, have you done a British Isles special?

I don't mean top 40 stuff.

Is there anything in Gaelic, Welsh, Scots, Manx, Cornish, English dialect etc. that deserves a play?

It might be nice to show those overseas that there is more to British music than The Beatles.

Regards Dave


2. from Thomas Habraszewski

Isn't the "made up" language of DVA just Hungarian in careless Czech pronunciation?

My native language is Polish.



PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:37 pm
by Jill Turner
Sa Ding Ding has a couple of tracks on her album Alive that contain a self created language.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:59 am
by liz molony
I woke to the eastern strains of Arto Tuncboyaciyan’s music...sparse sounds... lingering ... so pleased I didn't miss this.

It seemed that early morning that these artists who so love making up their sounds, want very little accompaniment.

I liked his uncluttered sound, and the childlike playfulness of Slovak singer Sui Vesan. Language become music without the distraction of meaning.