Elisabeth Tonnard

A Dialogue in Useful Phrases

A Dialogue in Useful Phrases is a sound piece based on the artist book of the same title.

The book is based on ‘conversational phrases’ appropriated from Grenville Kleiser’s handbook Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases. In a simple gesture, Kleiser’s conversational phrases starting with ‘I’ were taken and placed opposite those starting with ‘you’. The ‘I’ phrases are on the left pages of the book, the ‘you’ phrases on the right. A dialogue is formed from the random meetings of these phrases. Read more about the book here.

The sound piece uses audio files found on Project Gutenberg of volunteers reading the 15.000 useful phrases. By mixing the recordings of both the ‘you’ and the ‘I’ phrases an unexpected dialogue is revealed.

Published as a cd by Elisabeth Tonnard in 2012. Length 8:33. Listen to a sample here.


Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

May 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm