Bell Curve is a spatial performance work for twelve independent bell ringers, dissecting the finest details in rhythm, pitch and resonance to unlock the sonic possibilities of Victoria’s Federation Hand Bells.
Bell Curve is a spatial performance work for twelve independent bell ringers composed by Eugene Ughetti. The work dissects the finest details in rhythm, pitch and resonance to unlock the pristine beauty of Victoria’s Federation Hand Bells. Using wireless networked click tracks and a quadraphonic sound system, twelve Speak Percussionists surround the audience playing perfectly syncronised attacks and timbral colours.
Bell Curve explores complex mathematical and spatial relationships between acoustic sounds. Imagine a massed unison attack on 12 bells being gradually split apart; whilst the time between each attack expands so too do the positions of the sound sources in space. Many of the compositional techniques are derived directly from physics including the motion of pendulum action and drawing inspiration from the recent detection of gravitational waves.
Harmonic relationships between the bell pitches and sine tones are determined spectrally. A spectral analysis of the Federation Hand Bells (achieved by identifying each of the prominent overtones constituting its bell sound) underpin both the exact tuning and harmonic material of the work as well as generating powerful acoustic phenomena such as difference tones or a perceived bending of overtones. The exactitude required to execute such complex musical ideas is achieved through the custom built technology for triggering independently networked audio cues to each performer.
Bell Curve would not have been possible without the support of the following people and organisations.
Australia Council for the Arts
City of Melbourne
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