Music for a set of 18 microtonal glass bells, performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Eight compositions were debuted by Jodie Landau and myself, as part of Chris Kallmyer’s Soft Structures installation for Noon to Midnight.
Gamel for Two Players
Change Ringing for Six Bells
Plain Hunt for Four Bells
You can read more about the tuning structure and musical scale of the bell set here.
Several of these compositions were inspired by a 17th century tradition called Change Ringing, in which no bell or sequence of bells is ever repeated. Change Ringing is one of the earliest physical implementations of an algorithm.
A sample pattern, known traditionally as Plain Hunt, is as follows:
In this sequence, the first and fourth bells exchange places,(left to right and right to left, respectively), until they have completely swapped sides. Then the sequence reverses itself until we are back at the beginning. Given the inherent and intended randomness of this tradition, I became interested in how one might perceptually bridge the gaps into a recognizable melodic or harmonic structure--in other words, which stepping stones are required to make a random sequence sound musical? What are the leaps that our ears make on their own to make musical "sense" of sequences like these?