Jonty Harrison - PulseRates
  Year :   1991
  Location :   England
  Worktype :   Composition
  Materials:   tape
  Info :   Birmingham City Council. Premiere: Centenary Square and the International Convention Centre, Birmingham, 1991.

  Work Details  
  BEAST (Jonty Harrison, Andrew Lewis, Dan Rodger, with additional material by Robert Dow and Alistair MacDonald) PulseRates was commissioned by Birmingham City Council to celebrate Sounds like Birmingham - UK City of Music 1992. The piece grows out of sounds which can be heard in the city of Birmingham itself (the fish market, New Street station, city buses and their brakes, the hammering and drilling from building sites), which intermingle with more overtly musical sounds (ranging from the sounds of actual percussion instruments to a more avant-garde electroacoustic sound-world, from a texture reminiscent of ambient acid house to something more akin to a systems piece). In the electroacoustic medium, composers and listeners are uniquely able to move between real, unreal and surreal sonic environments. All three are present in PulseRates, the organisation of which, though primarily musical, can also be interpreted programmatically: just as the citys industrial past provided the foundations for the communities living here, so the sound of machinery of all kinds, symbolising the energy of this industrial past, provides the foundations of PulseRates; in the course of the work it is transformed into the cultural (and multi-cultural) energy which has so strongly come to symbolise Birmingham in the late twentieth century. BEAST wishes to thank the following individuals and organisations for their help in making this work possible: Selwyn van Zeller of the Museum of Science and Technology; Lucas Aerospace Ltd; Westley Richards and Co. Ltd; The University of Birmingham; Anthony Sargent and Catherine Manners of Birmingham City Council.