Change ringing (or method ringing) is the art of bell ringing established in England in the 17th century and is still practised in many churches in Britain. This audio piece examines the essence and some of the rules of change ringing, and considers the question of whether this form of bell ringing is music and what its musical qualities are. Interviews with experienced bell ringers and musical experts are interwoven with news reports, field recordings, and sound clips created in accordance with the main principles of change ringing whilst extending the boundary of this art.
With thanks to:
the Guild of Bellringers of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, Angela Deakin, Jonathan Frye, Eva Moreda, Shantiketu, Steven Worbey
Extracts from: Great Peter Ringing, York Minster by Thierry Pauwels (CC BY license); Liam Craddock – ‘Bellringing’ by Ignite Liverpool (CC BY); Howard Skempton and Central Council of Church Bell Ringers by PRS for Music Foundation (CC BY); 24 bell change ringing at Ringing World 100th Anniversary Reception by Philip Earis(attribution and non-commercial use only
Audio pieces composed using variations of the change ringing method:
A nebulous web of sounds and feelings created by five sung notes put together according to the change ringing method ‘double differential bob doubles’.
This vocal piece is derived from the change ringing method ‘70th Birthday Delight Major’.
A vocal piece inspired by change ringing methods, using a similar beginning as Mistily the wind blows.
A composition using the sounds of bells and vocalization inspired by change ringing methods.
Individual bell sounds from Freesound.org: Bell 010 by Kyster, Medievel Bell G3 by wuola, Bell Echo by tec studios, Wind Chime Tolling by InspectorJ.
In order to make (non)sense of the strange times we are in, this sound piece was made using the Dadaist creative strategies of chance and found objects to randomly select auditory fragments from speeches by the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson since March this year. The fragments were selected by computer automation and remixed into a word salad about the coronavirus situation in the UK.
With her face submerged Lin sings a popular Chinese song Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower). Apart from being a personal attempt to achieve a free voice, Lin’s act references Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution of 2010/11 and its subsequent development, as well as unauthenticated reports that some Chinese local authorities banned the sale of jasmine in 2011, seemingly fearful of the symbolic meaning attached to the flower.
Performance of Unvoiced-voiced and installation as part of the exhibition Language of Silence, curated by Ashley Holdsworth
12 September 2015, The Virginia Gallery, Glasgow, UK
Abridged is a series of audio pieces in which condensed versions of short stories are created by using the first sentences in all or some of the paragraphs of the original text. The disconnected sentences form a semi-coherent structure within which other sounds are weaved together to accentuate the enigmatic quality of the narrative, providing space for imagination to roam.
An immigrant from Hong Kong to Britain examines her difficulty in remembering the voice of her deceased mother. Her attempt to find ways to help her recall her mother’s voice reveals the limitations of words in describing vocal qualities, and also highlights the changes in the language milieu of Hong Kong and in her own cultural identity.
Using field recording from an anti-Trident demonstration and interview material with Brian Quail, who has been a peace activist for decades and has been arrested many times and charged with ‘breach of the peace’, this work explores some of the contradictory ideas about what peace constitutes.
A meditative rendition of random numbers in English and Cantonese. Lin created this piece bearing in mind Holocaust trains which were marked with numbers.