Like all Konan­tü works, the sound poem Vid Vida Vida­je­na is the col­lec­tive real­iza­tion of a task, the process of which unfolds an under­ly­ing design, to be inter­pret­ed and con­veyed by each indi­vid­ual in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the oth­ers. Vid Vida Vida­je­na is accom­plished in the form of a sound poem. The work uses sequences of words, some strange and some com­mon, jux­ta­posed only accord­ing to alpha­bet­i­cal order, to be pro­nounced one by one out loud in a cir­cle. The vocal­iza­tions reveal the sound pat­tern of pho­net­ic rep­e­ti­tion spe­cif­ic to each alpha­bet­i­cal group­ing, mak­ing the sound aspect of each word its pri­ma­ry val­ue. Words move around the cir­cle as sounds dis­so­ci­at­ed from their mean­ing and con­nect­ed to each oth­er only by rhythmic/syllabic vari­a­tions on a com­mon, repeat­ing sound. The work requires an aware­ness in the moment of the con­nec­tion between sounds in a way that sus­pends our attach­ment to mean­ing and seman­tic coher­ence, jam­ming our con­ven­tion­al approach to deci­pher­ing lan­guage. Once the mys­tery of lan­guage, of the pecu­liar cor­re­spon­dence between a vocal sound and the mean­ing of a word, has been exposed in the cir­cle through the non­sen­si­cal beau­ty of the vocal pat­tern, then the par­tic­i­pants begin to reen­counter oth­er pat­terns of ver­bal con­nec­tions. As the work pro­gress­es through con­tin­u­ous and evolv­ing cycles, mean­ing begins to resur­face as the con­nec­tions between sounds and words are reex­am­ined in the new con­text. This hap­pens in the unex­pect­ed pro­gres­sion of sounds as con­tin­u­ous words explore the expand­ing off­shoots from a sin­gle root (flor, flo­ra, flo­ral…), or the way one sound can splin­ter into a series of diver­gent words with con­flict­ing mean­ings (sol, sola­cio, sola­mente…). The seem­ing­ly ran­dom jux­ta­po­si­tions, deter­mined by an objec­tive order that ignores any seman­tic dimen­sion, give way to more delib­er­ate com­bi­na­tions, so that once the pos­si­bil­i­ty of seman­tic log­ic insin­u­ates itself in the cir­cle, the will to make order – what­ev­er order — from dis­or­der, takes over. Par­tic­i­pants, reclaim­ing sub­jec­tiv­i­ty, gain the capac­i­ty to com­pose the col­lec­tive poem by manip­u­lat­ing the alter­nate val­ues of sound and sense, in con­cert with each oth­er, to cre­ate an exper­i­men­tal vocal work from what began as a pool of ran­dom words. Each per­for­mance of the work is unique, even if the word bank is iden­ti­cal, because dif­fer­ent voic­es, dif­fer­ent ener­gies, and ulti­mate­ly dif­fer­ent cre­ative choic­es, lead the work in unpre­dictable direc­tions, giv­ing it a unique com­pos­ite iden­ti­ty. Over­all, the work pro­pos­es a col­lec­tive expe­ri­ence where par­tic­i­pants engage with each oth­er and the words at their dis­pos­al to both observe and dri­ve the dynam­ic play between sound, log­ic, non­sense, and meaning.

The poem is cre­at­ed by the con­cate­na­tion of words spo­ken out loud in a cir­cle, by 8 vol­un­teer par­tic­i­pants, with no pri­or knowl­edge or prepa­ra­tion. At the start, each par­tic­i­pant is hand­ed an indi­vid­ual list of words that seem to make no sense togeth­er. These words are to be pro­nounced in numer­i­cal order, 1 at a time, at each participant’s turn in the cycle. As each par­tic­i­pant pro­nounces their des­ig­nat­ed word, in the cir­cu­lar sequence, the sound pat­tern takes shape in the air. 

Each cycle of 8 words com­pris­es one vocal sequence, repeat­ing a sound 8 times, which is usu­al­ly the first syl­la­ble (or first 2 syl­la­bles) of words that exist on the same page of a dic­tio­nary. Their only con­nec­tion to each oth­er is their alpha­bet­i­cal prox­im­i­ty, which accounts for the recur­rence of their ini­tial sounds when spo­ken aloud. The under­ly­ing pho­net­ic-alpha­bet­i­cal word sequences are revealed to the group as they are formed out loud with each con­nect­ing word. Each cycle begins a new and dif­fer­ent pho­net­ic chain. 

The words are tak­en from a com­pre­hen­sive edi­tion of the Span­ish lan­guage dic­tio­nary of the Real Acad­e­mia Españo­la, which includes words from all the Span­ish lan­guage coun­tries in the world. Since many of these words per­tain to local ver­nac­u­lar of spe­cif­ic places, and many are indige­nous words native to Span­ish col­o­nized lands, they are often unfa­mil­iar to most aver­age Span­ish speak­ers, while oth­er words are com­mon­ly known and wide­ly used in stan­dard Span­ish. While the alpha­bet­i­cal order is a log­i­cal order famil­iar to all, it pro­duces ran­dom jux­ta­po­si­tions from a seman­tic or poet­ic per­spec­tive. Both the odd­ness of cer­tain words and their hap­haz­ard asso­ci­a­tions with oth­ers sets up an estrange­ment with the words as lan­guage, allow­ing their sound aspect to predominate.

The work includes a total of 320 words, divid­ed into 40 pho­net­ic-alpha­bet­i­cal sequences (a series of 8 words that all begin with the same sound); those lists are then each divid­ed and dis­trib­uted among the 8 par­tic­i­pants, so that each of them will pos­sess only one of the words from the orig­i­nal lists. These indi­vid­ual words, when spo­ken one by one in the cir­cle, will vocal­ly recon­struct the orig­i­nal alpha­bet­i­cal sequences. 

The work is divid­ed into three acts. Act I intro­duces the total 320 words in 5 series of 8 cycles that reveal the pho­net­ic-alpha­bet­i­cal order ini­tial­ly unknown to the par­tic­i­pants. Act II repeats the same words in dif­fer­ent orders, re-intro­duc­ing the poten­tial for seman­tic mean­ing. Act III turns the order-mak­ing over to the par­tic­i­pants who are free to make their own intu­itive con­nec­tions, by speak­ing the words of their choice (from the words they alone possess).

The poem-per­for­mance relies on a musi­cian seat­ed in the cen­ter of the cir­cle – in this case an accor­dion­ist – to mark the breaks between sequences, and also respond intu­itive­ly to the mean­der that encir­cles them.