9 Alerts – Preface

9 Alerts

Preface to the score:

9 Alerts is a set of nine, three second long, compositions.

Although I didn’t write them specifically for the platform, they may be used as mobile (cell) phone ringtones. WAV versions are available on request from SOUNDkiosk (kiosk4sound@gmail.com) under a Creative Commons Share Alike licence.

In 1987/8 I defined the following forms with their corresponding durations:
3” – An Alert
30” – A Jingle
3′ – A Single
30′ – An Album (made up of 10 singles)
60′ – A Double Album

I created Alerts from that year but I didn’t fully compose (that is, notate) any until 2001.

From that period until 2001 I used the 30 second Jingle form to compose Jingles for People. The idea was to create advertising jingles for people rather than products and services. I wrote these for friends and celebrities (some of whom were both). *

* The creation of a Jingle involved a sitting at which I interviewed the person to find out more about them. I also asked about their musical and other cultural interests.

My 30 minute albums, comprising 10 singles, included some of my music for furniture exhibitions and several spoken word operas:
Traffic and Forest for Ikon Corporation.
Captain Lash, Cockahoop and A Complete Story of Numbers, operas.

I’ve only made one 60 minute double album; Oui/Non for Viaduct (Phillipe Starck retrospective). The two 30 minute albums were, however, played simultaneously in adjoining rooms.

I’ve since broken this formal set of structures, considering them to have served their purpose. I may sometimes nod in their direction or revisit them at some point in the future.

The instrumentation of the following 9 Alerts is free. There are up to three different pitched parts, with or without a drum (that is, unpitched percussion) part. All sounds are electronic and quantized. Different positions on the drum/percussion stave are different instruments. Also; same position, same instrument. Where indicated, pitch bend is free and may apply to one or all instruments in that Alert. All sounds used in my recording are Roland GM/GS sounds on a Roland PMA-5.

Jamie Crofts

Elm Tree Terrace, Lincoln.


9 Alerts – Preface

Regeneration Game (100 one bar variations on a C major scale)

I wrote Regeneration Game in the summer of 1993 whilst house sitting in Kensington, London. There was a grand piano and a lot of space. It was a summer of transition; I’d given up my flat in Lansdowne Crescent* and I was buying a flat in Wilbury Villas, Hove (now the city of Brighton and Hove).
*Lansdowne Cresecnt is the street where Jimi Hendrix died at the Samarkand Hotel in 1970,

I had worked with Ikon Corporation, a London gallery for contemporary furniture and design, who had commissioned music from me for four exhibitions. One day I called in and they had a copy of Paolo Pallucco’s 100 Sedie In Una Notte (100 chairs in one night), a book cataloguing a design project, published in 1990.

The 100 Sedie begins with a neutral, black, square dining chair: Square seat, square back and four square legs. The designer then goes on to create 100 variations on this basic design by, for example, extending, reducing or reshaping the back, or the seat or the legs.

I decided to write a version in music. To do so I needed a neutral theme in music to correspond to Pallucco’s basic chair design. I decided to use a C major scale, that is, a one octave ascending C major scale notated in quarter notes, starting on middle C and ending one octave higher (with a time signature of 8/4).
I then wrote 100 one bar variations on the theme, the first of which is the same C major scale, but descending; a retrograde.

The score is available to download from the British Music Collection. Print copy available from soundkiosk.com

Regeneration Game at British Music Collection

SOUNDkiosk website

Regeneration Game (100 one bar variations on a C major scale)