Singing the bell pitches
To develop and test the app, 39 sung notes which match the pitch of each bell are required. This is a simple request and easy to execute however I’m slowed down by singer questions: What sort of attack (any preferred consonant?), and vowel sound ( is an ‘AHH’ or an ‘Ooo’ preferred?) What duration would work best, and would the samples work better with or without strong harmonic content? The answer from Terry, of course, was “ I don’t know yet”. So I stopped procrastinating and set up to record.
The bells are tricky to pitch. Some have a very clear pitch; some have a strong overtone; others are made of multiple pitches and multiple overtones; each bell has its own duration and decay. Also, as a set the bells aren’t organised in a standard scale; each octave contains different sets of notes which are mostly sharp or flat (see Terry’s video for more detail), i.e. there’s a helluva lotta information to throw a singer off her game.
Re playback: for this kind of task I like to use VLC. All the files go in as one playlist; they stay in order as they automatically play, and I can easily see the name and duration of each track. Sometimes a simple solution (rather than for example importing the files into an audio program) creates a more stable process. Boring for me to describe, but working remotely is calling on me to fulfill 2 roles: providing content while also setting up and managing the tech. Everything takes soooo much longer than if we were in the same room. The flip side of that is that I have to understand everything, so I’m learning a ton more than I otherwise might if someone else was operating.
Carolyn, 10 June
Tuning and pitches of the bells - adapting a tonality diamond
Trying to make sense of the tuning system of the bells and how to navigate through it in an intuitive way, as a possible vehicle to use vocal gestures. Your voice could trace a path through the tuning system by articulating scales as trajectories that the voice can either travel through or trigger as glissandi. These paths could traverse a "tonality diamnd". Also exploring the idea of trills/ornaments as geometric objects.
I'll be looking at pitch-tracking next, which is where I'll be working with your voice more directly and get you to try out/discuss ideas.
Terry, 23 June
Dispersion Pitch Tracker V1 overview and demo
This one's about the pitch-tracker software that I'll be sending you-- it's not ready to send yet but it should be ready soon. In the mean time have a look at this video which explains what it does and how to run it. Once you get it you can try out your voice with the bells, have a play around with it.
Terry, 28 June