Yorkshire Composer's Homage to Mobile PhoneTagged as: culture
Neighbourhoods: hebden_bridge hx7 yorkshire
A composer from West Yorkshire has released a single, ‘Ringtonic', which is unique in its being constructed from the sounds of telephone noises and mobile phone ringtones. The track uses various telephone ringing sounds, text message alerts, dial-tones and even a speech sample of an announcer telling people to switch off their mobile phones.
In particular the track features the ubiquitous Nokia tune (originally a fragment from a 19th century classical guitar piece by Spanish composer Francisco Tarrega) which has been re-constructed using a software emulation of the early 1980s Casio VL 1 keyboard. The track also uses sounds derived from the Gameboy and Commodore 64 to create the right kind technological aesthetic.
The track has been produced by, and released via, MadeinMIDI, a production label set up by Mark Marrington in 2009. Marrington, who lives in Hebden Bridge and is a Lecturer in Popular Music at Leeds College of Music, describes the record as "an affectionate tribute to mobile phone culture, the music that we hear all around us on a daily basis, particularly on public transport, but hitherto unstructured as a concentrated listening experience".
"I've deliberately used instrument sounds that refer to what we would these days regard as rather primitive music technology", says Marrington, "and I find it fascinating that these sounds have persisted with us in certain areas of technology like the telephone". "The music is 95% original, but sounds like it could have been used in a videogame from the nineteen-eighties."
The single has been released under the pseudonym ‘Citron Gin' (an anagram of ‘Ringtonic') a character who Marrington describes as "a pioneer of the Hebden Bridge bitbeat scene". ‘Bitbeat' is a variation on ‘Chipbeat', which refers to the current retro-fad for creating music using sounds derived from 1980s videogame technology, ‘bit' referring to the 8-bit computer processor which produced the sounds in that era.
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