Back in early 2020, we shared an excerpt of Oliver Sacks being interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show in 1981. Here’s that same clip again, but this time with Dr Sacks’s speaking voice transcribed for piano by British composer, Pete Wyer.
Pete shared this note with the video and manuscript: “I often say that ‘we speak in music’ and in fact we convey a great deal by music rather than words in speech – nonetheless it’s worth pointing out in this case that, of course, we don’t speak in the equal temperament pitch of a piano or in the steady meter of a 4/4 bar of music. The nuances of human speech are extremely complex and the notation here is an approximation of the pitch, rhythm, tone and dynamic that Dr. Sacks is using here.
With our pitch, rhythm, tone and dynamics of speech, we are speaking a common musical language regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation etc – this is something I always felt Dr. Sacks would have appreciated and it’s probably one of the reasons I was drawn to use his voice in the first place.”
Thank you, Pete!