projects > The Lonesome Cut Up

The Lonesome Cut Up
LED programable sign
8" x 48"
2019

Chalet Comellas-Baker and Clint Sleeper

A “cut up" is the process of taking apart lyrics from existing songs and re-working them to make something new. It has long been used by song writers as a working process to help them spark new ideas for arrangements and lyrical structures. In this piece, titled "The Lonesome Cut Up" we reference this tried and true technique by co-opting lyrics from the Hank Williams song, "I'm so lonesome I could cry, and reassembling them through the use of a handwritten html code, forming a new text that is then programmed into the LED sign.

The use of birds and birdsong in Williams’ lyrics evoke a sense of place and a feeling of loss. The song famously begins with the directive, “Hear that lonesome whippoorwill, he sounds too blue to fly." Looking at correlations between urban growth and population numbers of the Whippoorwill in North America, and more specifically, Nashville, the Tennessee Ornithological Journal reflects that as "Music City" has grown over the years the population of Whippoorwills have steadily declined.

Put it all together,

Heart breaking.