The Linguistic Turn of the Talking Crosswalks

Transpersonal message about the future of talking crosswalks.

(The original addressee of this message has finally been reached.)

Talking crosswalks in Sweden and Norway have a distinctly different sound. The ones in Norway have a soft, polite beep while those in Sweden have a harsher sound, as if someone were ferociously beating metal tubes together. Maybe you like the Swedish ones, but I prefer the Norwegian sound. Let us not argue about that. Instead, I would like to propose a few alternative possibilities for the talking crosswalks. The sound example illustrates how the Norwegian signal could mutate. My vision is that these amazing instruments should evolve into semi-conscious communicating beings that listen to each other, marking their territories by singing, like birds. Of course, their language would evolve and pick up elements from various environmental sounds — cars, pedestrians and composers like you and me. If you find this idea appealing, which I have reasons to believe you do, I hope you will assist me by sharing it to anyone who could arrange for the required circumstances for this necessary and sufficient music.

Supposedly broadcasted on orf in 2003.

The Linguistic Turn of the Talking Crosswalks is available  here as an mp3-file (full length, 2'33).
© Risto Holopainen 2003.