This reading interface uses the open-source software tool Hyperaudio, developed by Mark Boas, which creates a linked video-and-text object, allowing readers to navigate a video using a piece of text, most commonly a transcript of the video. Conversely, playing the video also highlights the relevant part of the text and automatically scrolls the passage on the screen in time with the video. This piece is still in the very early stages of development, but I have attempted to extend Hyperaudio by incorporating multiple text versions of a poem into a display with a single video. In the example provided via the link above, Imtiaz Dharker’s performance of a poem differs significantly from the previously published version, with some words changed and a whole stanza left out. The interface allows readers to watch the performance while comparing the transcript of the performance to the published version. This provides readers with the opportunity to find new relationships between versions of texts in different media, as well as putting the performed version of a text at the centre of the comparison, making it the ‘standard’ version, the version against which others are compared in this context, as opposed to the published version.
This piece, when developed further, could have applications in the comparison of archival material such as drafts or typescripts with published work, expanding the scope of the comparisons further to include recorded performances of poems, with all versions located in one site for the reader.