News
News
4/24/2002
02:20 PM
50%
50%

Celling Out

One ring to bind them all: Serious musicians are using cell phones as instruments. (Honey, they're playing our cell-phone song.)

Nothing zaps the enjoyment of a live concert quite like the scourge of ringing cell phones. But that hasn't stopped composers from trying to turn this annoyance into the main event. You could say they write the songs that make the whole world ring--or wring its hands.

Folks who adore the dulcet tones of their StarTacs may want to plan a trip to the United Kingdom in July for the Cheltenham Music Festival. There, they can hear the world premiere of New Ring Cycle, a piece by composer Simon Turner and writer Marcus Moore featuring 30 mobile phones. It will include audience participation, and those who play the ring tones on their phones will be called the Cheltenham SIM-phone-ya.

Perhaps Turner and Moore were inspired by composer Golan Levin's Dialtones Telesymphony, which debuted last fall at an annual festival for the Ars Electronica Center in Austria. The telesymphony incorporated the ringing cell phones of 200 audience members, who volunteered to have melodic ring tones automatically downloaded onto their handsets. Then there's the Spring Cellphony, first performed in Jerusalem in June. It gave cell phones a more modest introduction to the role of musical instrument. Each section of the medley was kicked off by a cell phone with a classical-music ring tone; then the traditional orchestra played the rest.

If you can't seem to find a ring-tone concert near you, don't despair. Just find a seat on a crowded train at rush hour, close your eyes, and pretend it's a Philip Glass tribute to Nokia.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.