The debate around ringing and music is taken to an entirely new level in this fascinating conversation between show host Cathy Booth and composer Helen Ottaway.
Deeply inspired by the sound of bells, Helen’s passion for this shared soundscape has led from the creation of individual musical works to an entire bell-inspired festival! It’s amazing to hear what can happen when composers and ringers come together to exchange knowledge and enthusiasm across different art forms, contexts and places.
Be inspired, listen to the recordings and maybe even download the ringtone – but don’t get so carried away that you forget to turn your mobile off before that peal…
About Helen Ottaway
Helen Ottaway is a composer and sound artist. Her music is inspired by particular places, buildings and the natural world. It involves chance, found sound, walking and frequently has a connection with water or bells. She has composed bell pieces for a trilogy of performance installations inspired by the sunken city of Dunwich and its drowned bells (Cherry Red Heat, RING and Still RInging). In 1999/2000 she was commissioned to write the music for Salisbury Cathedral’s Night Watch Service seeing in the new millennium. In 2012 with her company Artmusic, she created Ring RIng Bell, a sonic survey of bells along the A11 in London and in 2015 she incorporated a tower bell in her orchestral choral work ‘A Field in May’ commissioned by Wadhurst Culture. Recent commissions include Levantina for Palestinian – Jordanian pianist Iyad Sughayer and White Storks String Octet for Shipley Festival in Sussex. White Storks was recently broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Top 5 Takeaways
- Why not get in touch with existing festivals to see if there’s a way your tower could get involved
- Given the heritage aspect of ringing, the National Lottery is a good source of funding for creative projects
- Check out the Ring Out Festival website for more inspiration
- Interested in finding out more about Helen’s work? Here are some good links to start with: Ring Ring Bell (set), Album for Ring Ring Bell, Full info on Ring Ring Bell and Helen’s full blog.
- If you’ve not already got a bell related ringtone, why not try one of these out: Artmusic or Frome Carillon