A Real-World Practical Application from a Former Purdue Lighting Professor

Tim Parsons, former Purdue Lighting Professor, shares his story about how he used the prosody of the Mandarin language to make decisions about how to make edits in a video project for the new Baiyun Guangzhou International Airport for its premiere in China:

"I think that you would get a kick out of how a lighting designer resolved the Guangzhou video audio. I found a collection of traditional Chinese folk music recorded by Yo Yo Ma. I researched each piece and assigned them to different fly thru. For example the international returns concourse piece was about how it was nice to travel but was wonderful to finally be home. As for the Mandarin voice-over...there was a Chinese engineer in my building. I recorded him doing the voice-over in Mandarin and English having broken up the text into each fly-thru. I rough edited with English in my right ear and Mandarin in my left ear. I fine tuned listening to similarities in inflection, pause and emphasis. The engineer upon hearing the final version was impressed with the music selection but stunned as to how a non Mandarin speaker could have edited it so precisely down to what was being discussed. I never told him how I did it. I still can't believe it worked out so well.

Tim"

An exceptional example of the music of prosody. Thanks Tim!

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