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Ring the Change

2012, Fixed electroacoustics / Generative (2ch.)

Fixed version:

"Ring the Change" revolves around the idea of generating new content through the process of randomly recombining previously established elements. The title refers to change in the sense of transformation through variation—Change ringing is a way to play the bells while constantly permuting the order of their sounds—and it refers also to money and the coin as a symbol of randomness.

Two movements open and close the piece: "Heads" and "Tails", strictly composed using only one sound taken from a falling coin that rolls speeding up until it suddenly stops. All sounds in the piece were generated transposing and retrograding this characteristic sound which is two seconds long. Some of the resulting sounds are percussive, others are strange because they were transposed to the extreme so they were modified by aliasing, and others, which where sped down, sound reminiscent of bells.

Between these two movements there are what we could call "coin tosses". Each of these movements works as if many coins were tossed, each of them containing a short snippet of both "Heads" and "Tails" which is determined at random. Because each of this coins would fall in a different place and not in the same order they appeared in "Heads" or "Tails", every snippet appears also in a random temporal position and has some probability to be further transposed. In this way "Heads" and "Tails" are mixed and recombined in every movement.

"Ring the Change" exists in a fixed version, that includes four carefully selected "tosses", and a generative version, as a Max/MSP patch, where the user can select the number of tosses desired.

An edited excerpt of "Toss #1" was used for the soundtrack of a promotional video for UOC ("25N cada dia, la UOC cuida!") produced by Carme Gomila.

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