Exquisite Bells (Cologne)

Exquisite Bells (Cologne) is a piece I created with Edward Henderson in 2022-23 for our piano and electronics duo. It is for piano, ROLI Seaboard Block and tape, using a field recording I created while in Cologne for the project Bastard Assignments did with Ensemble Garage. The recording is of church bells and melodiously screaming children, captured outside Cologne Cathedral (not the Cathedral’s bells, but I didn’t manage to identify which church they came from).

The title emerged because my early concept for the piece was to use a development of the ‘Exquisite Engine’ device of contact mics and Bela Mini nanocomputer that I created for From the Exquisite Dark. While this was abandoned in favour of a simpler approach (using the field recording without any edits apart from a tiny top and tail), the name stuck.

The recording used was created for Harry Matthews’ piece for me, Home and Away Chords, which is why I perform a single sung note at the end of it. View the video of Home and Away Chords here (note that this version does not incorporate this particular recording, but the recording was created to be merged into the other recordings used in this piece).