Engelsk, Litteratur, Skriftlig engelsk, Undervisning

Sprog, tekst og kunst: Tre kreative sprogopgaver

Jeg elsker, når Tom Waits fortæller historier på livealbummet “Nighthawks at the Diner” (1976).

Og på den baggrund har jeg lavet 3 kreative sprogopgaver, som kombinerer lytteforståelse, tekstanalyse, semantiske felter, visuel kommunikation og projektsamarbejde.

Idé og progression

Den grundlæggende idé er at tage udgangspunkt i Tom Waits’ tekstunivers, undersøge det sprogligt og visualisere resultaterne. Progressionen er tænkt indefra og ud:

  1. Sproglig analyse af tekster
  2. Remediering af tekst fra song lyric til comic / graphic short story. Klassen arbejder i grupper med dele af teksten og sammensætter i fællesskab en tegneserieside med den fulde fortælling.
  3. Klassen udvælger værker som indgår (sammen med tegneserien) i en visuel udstilling med temaet “Stories of the Night”.

Opgave 1:
Semantiske felter – “Emotional Weather Report”

Lydklippet i denne opgave er en live performance af sangen “Emotional Weather Report” fra Tom Waits album Nighthawks at the Diner (1976).

Besvar opgave 1-3 nedenfor.

  1. Find og skriv i alt 10 ord fra klippet, der tilhører det semantiske felt weather/meteorology.
  2. Skriv for hvert af de 10 ord, hvilken ordklasse ordet tilhører.
  3. Vælg 3 sætninger fra teksten, hvor Waits bruger begreber fra vejrudsigten på en utraditionel måde og forklar, hvilken semantisk effekt de har.

Emotional Weather Report


What we’re talking about is late night and early morning low clouds
With a chance of fog, chance of showers into the afternoon
With variable high cloudiness and gusty winds
Gusty winds at times around the corner of Sunset and Alvarado

Yeah, I know, things are tough all over
When the thunder storms start increasing over the
Southeast and south central portions of my apartment, I get upset

And a line of thunderstorms was developing in the early morning hours
Ahead of a slow moving cold front, cold-blooded
With tornado watches issued shortly before noon Sunday
For the areas including the western region of my mental health
And the northern portion of my ability to deal rationally
With my disconcerted precarious emotional situation
It’s cold out there
Colder than the ticket taker’s smile at the Ivar Theatre, on Saturday night

Flash flood watches cover the southern portion of my disposition, yeah
There was no severe weather well into the afternoon
Except for kind of a lone gust of wind in the bedroom

A high pressure zone covering the eastern portion of a small
Suburban community with a 1034 millibar high pressure zone
And a weak pressure ridge extending from my eyes down to my cheeks
‘Cause since you left me baby and put the vice grips on my mental health
Well, the extended outlook for an indefinite period of time
Until you come back to me, baby, is high tonight, low tomorrow
And precipitation is expected

That wraps up the weather for this evening.
Now back to the eleven o’clock blues.
Doctor George Fishbeck ain’t got nothing on me!

Opgave 2: Visualising moods

Task A (In pairs)

  1. Read and listen to the lyrics of Tom Waits’ song “Eggs and Sausage”
  2. Briefly discuss your impression of the places and people mentioned in the song.
  3. Make a list of words that describe the characters, time and mood of the song.

Task B (Pairs team up to make groups of 4)

The goal is to create a one page comic/cartoon of the song.

Each group is given a section of the lyrics to work with and must produce a panel / drawing based on their lists of words from task A.

Vocabulary and the basics of graphic storytelling may be found here: https://gettinggraphic.weebly.com/vocabulary.html

Groups and assigned text

  1. Group: Intro
  2. Group: Stanza 1 (Nighthawks at the diner…)
  3. Group: Chorus (Eggs and sausage…)
  4. Group: Stanza 2 (It’s a graveyard charade…)
  5. Group: Stanza 3 (Classified section offers no direction…)
  6. Group: Coda (Á la mode if you will…)
  7. Art Directors and Editors (Students who are good at drawing and working with visual design offer help, oversee the work process and are reponsible for compiling individual drawings / panels into a complete comic.

Product | Make a poster with the finished cartoon / comic.

Eggs and Sausage (In a Cadillac With Susan Michelson)

Intro | I was always—er—kinda one to like consider myself kind of a pioneer of the palate
A restaurateur, if you will
I’ve wined, dined, sipped and supped in some of the most demonstrably beamer
Epitomable bistros in the Los Angles metropolitan region
Yeah, I’ve had strange looking patty melts at Norms
I’ve had dangerous veal cutlets at the Copper Penny
Well what you get is a breaded salisbury steak in a shake-n-bake
And topped with a provocative sauce of Velveeta and uh, half-n-half
Smothered with Campbell’s tomato soup
See I have kinda of a uh…well I order my veal cutlet
Christ it left the plate and it walked down to the end of the counter
Waitress, ? she’s wearing those rhinestone glasses with the little pearl thing clipped on the sweater
My veal cutlet come down, tried to beat the shit out of my cup of coffee
Coffee just wasn’t strong enough to defend itself

Lyrics | Nighthawks at the diner of Emma’s Forty-Niner
There’s a rendezvous of strangers around the coffee urn tonight
All the gypsy hacks and the insomniacs
Now the paper’s been read, now the waitress said

‘Eggs and sausage and a side of toast
Coffee and a roll, hash browns over easy
Chile in a bowl with burgers and fries
What kind of pie? Yeah…’

It’s a graveyard charade, it’s a late shift masquerade
And it’s two for a quarter, dime for a dance
Woolworth’s rhinestone diamond earrings and a sideways glance
Now the register rings, now the waitress sings

Eggs and sausage and a side of toast
Coffee and a roll, hash browns over easy
Chile in a bowl with burgers and fries
What kind of pie? Yeah

Now well, the classified section offers no direction
It’s a cold caffeine in a nicotine cloud
Now the touch of your fingers lingers burning in my memory
I’ve been eighty-sixed from your scheme
Now I’m in a melodramatic nocturnal scene
Now I’m a refugee from a disconcerted affair
Now the lead pipe morning falls, now the waitress calls

‘Eggs and sausage, another side of toast
Coffee and a roll, hash browns over easy
Chile in a bowl with burgers and fries
Now what kind of pie?’

À la mode if you will
Just come in and join the crowd
Had some time to kill, yeah
You see, I just come in to join the crowd
Had some time to kill
Just come in to join the crowd
Cause I had some time to kill

Opgave 3: Artistic Perspectives

Individual task

  1. Do an image search of art work related to “Night”. Make a colour print out your choice.
  2. Write an image text for selection.

In class

  1. Create an exhibition on the theme “Stories of the Night” with your chosen images alongside the Tom Waits song “Eggs and Sausage” and your comic version of the lyrics.
Edward Hopper “Nighthawks” (1942)
The Ivar Theatre i Hollywood, Californien. I 1970erne var teatret hjemsted for en pornobiograf og burleque shows. I dag huser det en afdeling af Los Angeles Film School.

Published by Morten Mølgaard

cand.mag i engelsk og dansk, litteraturnørd og formidler.

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