At Bell Telephone Laboratories (Murray Hill, N.J., U.S.) during the 1960’s, Cecil H. Coker focused primarily on researching articulatory speech synthesis. In 1973, (in collaboration with Noriko Umeda and Cathrine Browman) he developed one of the first software programs converting machine-readable text into speech (text-to-speech system). His discoveries played a key role in later technological advances in this field. For John Cage’s Variations V
(1965), Coker designed photoelectric cells to provide lighting and randomly triggered sounds. The following year, he developed the integrated sound system for Robert Rauschenberg’s Linoleum
. For 9 Evenings
, he collaborated once again with Cage to integrate the photoelectric cells with the other technological components of Variations VII
. Coker also made a substantial contribution to the development of the TEEM system and proposed the idea of the Proportional Control System (designed by Fred Waldhauer). Cecil H. Coker still works as an engineer with the Acoustic Research Department of AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories (formerly Bell Telephone Laboratories).
[Documents available in the collection about Cecil Coker...]