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Church Belles

Waite, Si (2015) Church Belles. [Composition]

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Abstract or description

My background is a singer-songwriter and a vocalist-guitarist in bands. I wanted to create a system that would function as a co-writer and co-performer in the creation and live realisation of a composition with two-way interaction between musician and machine. I also wanted that system to function in a highly transparent way.
Church bells were selected as the basis for the system as they provide this transparency: they have their own, natural logic that creates a chaotic yet coherent element, which is integral to much of my work.
Pitch detection on the guitar’s signal is used to “ring” the bells – when specific notes are played on the guitar, specific bells are rung. The ringing of the bells in turn pitch shifts the performer’s vocal.
Although modeling a real world machine, it makes artistic and aesthetic sense to explore the possibilities that the digital system affords. As the piece progresses, loud notes on the guitar detach bells from their hinges. Additional sound is generated as they collide with each other and the boundaries of the virtual world.
The lyrics are inspired by my grandmother, who described what it was like to wait for my grandfather to return from nightly bombing raids in World War 2. Although decorated for his contribution, he never spoke of what he did.

Item Type: Composition
Uncontrolled Keywords: Church bells, interactive, audio-visual, interactive system, Max for Live, Ableton Live, live performance, generative, physical metaphor
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies > Film, Sound and Vision
Depositing User: Si WAITE
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2016 10:10
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2018 14:45

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