Carillon Concert with Electronics
  as part of the Workshop of Electroacoustic Music during Berlin's year as Cultural Capitol of Europe 1988

August 20 and 21, 1988 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Jeffrey Bossin, Carillonneur, Berlin

Avantgarde Carillon Music

Music for Solo Carillon
Tower Music (1987) World premiere     Roy Hamlin Johnson

Music for Carillon No. 3 (1954)     John Cage

 For Carillon (1987) World premiere     László Dubrovay

 Berlin Fireworks Music/solo version (1987)     Richard Felciano

 Summer Fanfares (1956)     Roy Hamlin Johnson

Music for Carillon and Electronics
Vox veterrima for carillon, midi-keyboard, percussion and tape (1988) World premiere     Ricardo Mandolini
Carillon: Jeffery Bossin, Midi-keyboard: Ricardo Mandolini, Director of percussion: Martin Schulz
Percussionists: Volker Frischling, Robin Minard, Stefan Thiele and Rolf Tünnes.
Electronics: Folkmar Hein and Thomas Schneider.  

Organized by CarillonConcertsBerlin and the Workshop of Electroacoustic Music in cooperation with the
Electronic Studio of the TU Berlin and the support of the Senator for Cultural Affairs 

Ricardo Mandolini was born in 1950 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, studied composition starting in 1977 at the Cologne Musikhochschule, went on to work in electronic studios in Gent, Cologne, Stockholm and Bourges and received several international prizes for his electronic music. In 1978 he worked in Berlin as a DAAD guest composer and from 1980 til 1986 worked with Folkmar Hein to produce several pieces of electronic music in the electronic studio of the Technical University of Berlin which were performed during the electroacoustical music festival Inventionen.

Ricardo Mandolini: Fabulas II

Carillon tower, tape recorder and mixer
Jeffrey Bossin, Ricardo Mandolini and Folkmar Hein
At the mixer from left to right: Thomas Schneider, Bernd Schönhaar and Folkmar Hein
The carillon keyboard with the 53-page score of Vox veterrima
Vox30.jpeg Vox36.jpeg

Excerpts from the score of Vox veterrima.

Click here to listen to an excerpt of Vox veterrima played by Jeffrey Bossin on the Carillon in Berlin-Tiergarten

     The name Vox veterrima - "Voice From Ancient Times" or "Primeval Voice" - derives from the traditional role of the bell as the signal of the beginning of all important public events and activities. The work is built on the electronically manipulated sounds of bells. All of the bells of the carillon in Berlin-Tiergarten were recorded individually and this material subjected to a spectral analysis and then resynthesized in order to reconstruct the sounds of the bells. In addition to that Cmusic on a VAX-computer was used  to create harmonic superimpositions of more than 100 bell sounds. The synclavier II was used to synchronize the elements of the first section. Mandolini created three different tracks of electronic sounds and motives played on the synclavier. The electronics were heard from three large loudspeakers placed on the same side of the tower, one to the left, one to the right, and one 20 metres up in it. The motion of the electronics from one loudspeaker to the other provided the piece with an extra spatial dimension. With a few exceptions the electronics are heard during the entire piece and are accompanied by the carillonneur. During the world premiere a pianist used a midi-keyboard to play on the hammers of the automatic playing system of the bells from c2 to c4 and four percussionists also performed.

      Vox veterrima consists of two main sections of several parts. The first of these lasts about thirteen minutes and consists of the sections Initia nascendi (elements of the creation, of the birth), Ignis ingens (huge fire), Divinum testimonium (divine testimony), Praeconium (pronouncement, glorification), Concilia populi (assembly of the people), Intuitio tenebris (sinister presentiment) und Calamitas bellum (war disaster). The second part lasts about three and a half minutes and consists of the two sections Novum mysterium (new mystery) and Aestus minantes (immenent conflagration, floods, passions). The work is carefully constructed and has several dynamic climaxes. The composer uses different combinations of electronic and instrumental sounds and noises to produce a number of original and imaginative textures. The individual elementes - arpeggios, arabesques, cadenzas, repeated notes, tremolos, chords and the motives developed from them – are introduced and then repeated and developed further at certain intervals. The work begins with a delicate dialogue of arabesques and repeated notes, played electronically and on the carillon in the highest register. During the following section Ignis ingens the texture gradually expands downwards to include lower tones and the first main motive – the repeated chord a1-c2-a-flat2-c3 – is played on the carillon three different times. Praeconium begins with two carillon arabesques, the same two heard in both the electronics and the carillon at the beginning of the piece. In Concilia populi two more main motives appear: the carillon arpeggios d-sharp1-b1-d-flat2-g-flat2-b-flat2-d3 at the beginning and the electronic chord C-sharp-c-sharp-f-a-c1-e1 about a minute later. The first main motive reappears in the middle of Intuitio tenebris, this time as a figure in the electronics composed of a quarter-note, a dotted quarternote, an eighthnote and two quarternotes. It is played again at the end of Calamitas bellum, this time on the lowest bells of the carillon where it ends the first main part of the piece. Vox veterrima concludes with a fourth main motive, a row of chords that are constantly repeated and become continuously louder until they reach fortississimo. A variant of the first main motive played on the carillon and in the MIDI part end the work. The tremendous tension is resolved by an electronic cadence in the form of a huge glissando that  drags the piece down into the depths.

      During the performance the carillonneur has to play exactly together with the other parts. I use the complete score so I can follow the electronic music and the other voices and see where I have to come in. In order to be able to read the very small carillon notes I divide the 53 pages of the score into five piles according to the register of the carillon notes. In order to identify the pages belonging to each group and put them in the proper order I numbered each group with a differently coloured felt  pen. When I finish playing a page I quickly remove it in order to continue on the next page under it. If there is no rest at the end of the page I have to lay two or three pages next to each other in order to be able to play them without any interruption. If I have to change from one group to another I use an arrow at the end of the page written in the colour of the next group to be played. During all of this I must always remember to remove all of the pages I have finished playing so that when I return to a previously played group of pages I see the next one to be played rather than the last one I ended with. I can hear the electronics via loudspeakers in the playing cabin while I am performing and I have a click track to que my entrance at especially tricky spots. In the course of time I had to simplify a few unplayable carillon passages a bit. The percussion and MIDI parts were recorded in the electronic studio and added to the electronics as  additional tracks, so that now one only needs a carillonneur, a suitable carillon, the electronic accompaniement and a studio technician in order to perform Vox veterrima. A revised version of the piece which Mandolini made in 2005 appeared on the DVD 50 Years Studio TU Berlin which was released in the same year.