Unringing the Bell

Unringing the Bell, 2015
Incidental Music for Kepler 438B, a 24-hour performance piece that contemplates the exoplanet 438B, discovered by the Kepler telescope. Performed at Mobius, Cambridge, MA November 7-8, 2015.

Composed and Performed by Mark Pevsner

Michael Moss, Soundscape Studios
Digitally manipulated sampled bell and wood percussion. Recorded samples of the original instruments and recorded the final compositions.

Jonathan Hess, Percussion
Performed (for sampling) the bell/metal/wood section of his percussion collection

Meditation #7
The original idea for this music was to record members of the bell family and to play the recordings backwards, hence the “unringing”. I soon discovered that cognitively, in order for a backwards bell (gradual swell to attack) to “sound” like a bell, it needs to be connected – via editing – to a normal bell sound (attack followed by decay). Once the various forward and backward sounds were loaded into a digital sampler, the element of pitch could be as prominent as the element of timbre. Meditation #7 is one of a series of compositions that comprise Unringing the Bell. It is a continuous, 15-minute, unedited improvisation.