Hello? (a ringtone fantasy) – Graeme Leak
Player 1: mp3 files, Glockenspiel, Agogo Bells, Small kit bass drum and pedal, Snare drum (snares off), Medium Suspended Cymbal
Player 2: Vibraphone
Player 3: Marimba (1st player), Vibraphone
Player 4: Marimba (2nd player)
There is only one marimba and one vibraphone in the set up – they are shared between the players
Kit bass drum not too damped and with two heads if possible – a bit ringy like a small concert BD
Hello? [a ringtone fantasy] was commissioned by the Musica Viva In Schools program in 2007. The brief was to write a piece that would be played in schools and discussed in classrooms as part of this excellent program.
I wanted to create a work that would make a direct connection with students and provide a useful springboard for classroom discussions and music-making activities. After toying with a lot of approaches I finally settled on exploring ringtones as musical compositions: a) because they were universally and instantly recognisable; and b) nearly every school child I knew had a phone. In 2007 smart phones were not around.
I based the piece on the popular Nokia ringtones and auditioned all 43 melodies available on a Nokia 1100, rating their popularity with the help of my children and their friends. I chose Kick, Jumping, Nokia Tune* and Samba and wrote a theme and variations around the central question.. Where might this ringtone go if it didn’t stop?
Now, I have to acknowledge that Hello? obviously dated very quickly. The once instantly recognisable ringtones have become quaint memories. I am hoping that they will soon do the usual cyclic thing and enjoy a retro-hip, global renaissance.
* the Nokia tune is in fact the 19th Century Spanish guitar piece Gran Vals by Francisco Tarrega.
INCLUDED IN THE DOWNLOAD
mp3 files for playback/triggering