Dialtones (A Telesymphony)
Golan Levin / Scott Gibbons / Gregory Shakar
Staalplaat STCD160

What is the sound of 200 mobile phones ringing? When it's choreographed by computer whiz Golan Levin, 'Lilith' frontman Scott Gibbons, and sound artist Gregory Shakar, the answer is: suprisingly sublime. 'Dialtones' is a large-scale concert performance whose sounds were wholly produced through the carefully triggered dialing and ringing of the audiences' own mobile phones. In "Dialtones", waves of polyphony cascade across the crowd, rendering unprecedented sonic phenomena like spatially-distributed melodies and chords. The magic is accomplished with a custom software system, developed by the artists, which allowed them to arrange the audience members' locations and ringtones before the concert, and then perform their mobiles in real time with a specially-designed dialing instrument. The composition is sometimes delicate and twinkly, sometimes cacophonous, and sometimes purifyingly haunting. More than just a simple composition, however, 'Dialtones' is a performance artwork which redirects our attention to the unexplored musical potential of a ubiquitous modern appliance, and inverts our understandings of private sound, public space, electromagnetic etiquette, and the fabric of the communications network which connects us. This disc contains a complete live recording of the 26-minute concert, as well as a special CD-ROM component with Quicktime video excerpts, interviews with the artists, and other information about the concert.

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