MOBILE PHONE RING TONES
In early 2001 Jean began writing melodies for the mobile phone, treating it as a kind of musical instrument. Composing in the traditional way with pencil/paper and then transferring the melodies to the computer, she works within the range of technical constraints as set by the "instrument". Her first set of ring tones were distributed by the Internet company iobox, where customers downloaded the music to their phones. It began as a Valentine’s Day promotion and grew to a collection of over 30 titles. Other Internet companies began taking a number of pieces onto their sites. Norman Worrall also composed melodies that Jean arranged for mobile phones.
Jean's original music attracted considerable media coverage. Her most ambitious mobile phone project was a 3-minute miniature suite written for ten mobile phones, "Can you hear me?", commissioned by iobox. Performed by students from London’s Royal Academy of Music, the first half of the piece was broadcast in April 2002 on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.
30 April 2002 - BBC "South East Today" TV News , UK : Feature television spot
27 December 2001 - NBC News, New York , "The Today Show" : Television story on ring tones, interview with Dawna Friesen
11 September 2001 - ABC News, New York , "World News Tonight" : Filmed for feature television spot. Interview with Richard Gizbert (never broadcast)
1 July 2001 - SKY TV News, "Sunday with Adam Boulton" : Live television interview with Kay Burley
27 June 2001 - "Meridian Tonight" TV News, Southeast England : Feature television spot, interview with Jane Frances Kelly
8 April 2002 - BBC Radio 4, UK , "Today" programme : Live interview with Edward Stourton and broadcast of piece for ten mobile phones (performed by Royal Academy of Music students)
8 April 2002 - BBC London Live Radio, "Drive Time" programme : Live radio interview
22 November 2001 - BBC Radio Newcastle , UK , "Gerry Jackson Sound Advice Programme" : Live radio interview with Gerry Jackson
3 July 2001 - CapeTalk Radio, Cape Town , South Africa : Live radio interview with Kieno Kammies
3 July 2001 - Radio 702, Johannesburg , South Africa , "Drive Time" programme: Live radio interview with John Robbie
1 July 2001 - BBC Radio 3, UK , "Music Matters" programme : Radio interview with Ivan Hewitt
29 June 2001 - BBC Scotland Radio, "Gary Robertson Show" : Live radio interview with Craig Anderson
26 June 2001 - ABC Radio, Perth , Australia : Live radio interview with Monty Sangar
25 June 2001 - BBC London Live Radio, "Drive Time" programme : Live radio interview with Sonia Deol
30/31 March 2002 - Financial Times, The Business magazine : Feature article,
‘Reinventing the ringtone: PLAY AS YOU GO MOBILES’, Oliver Bennett, Editor
15 April 2002 - The Guardian, UK : Article in New Media Diary
23 November 2001 - The Boston Globe, Boston , Mass. : "Classical Notes" by Richard Dyer
21 November 2001 - Daily Express, UK : Mobile phone ring tone article by Thomas Ditton
9 August 2001 - East Kent Mercury, UK : Feature article by Elizabeth Leonard
24 June 2001 - The Independent on Sunday, UK : Feature article by Charles Arthur
(How all the publicity started! See article below.. and no, I didn’t receive a small fortune in royalties, alas!)
BBC Kent, UK , website : Profile / interview / photos by Robert Leslie / April 2002 online. Read archived article.
New Music Box (American Music center) / August 2004 online, “All consuming music: new applications of a classic profession” by Rebecca Winzenried. Excerpt:
” In the meantime, there are ringtones. As we’re all too acutely aware, declaring your interest and/or musical tastes to the world through the few simple notes of a cell phone ring has become a major priority. … Apparently part of the problem lies with the complexity, or simplicity, of the music itself. A successful ringtone needs to be instantly recognizable and have an infectious hook. Beethoven’s Fifth works; Glass and company may be a little too subtle to get our attention on a busy street corner. Composer Jean Hasse recognized those limitations when she began composing for the cell phone as musical instrument in 2001. The Oberlin-trained composer has carved out a singular niche for herself by writing hundreds of 20-second ringtones to reflect different moods and attitudes. The elliptical, jazzy little tunes, with names like “Ouch,” “Get Out of Bed,” and “Wait for Me,” don’t sound anything like typical ringtones, yet they don’t sound as if they could be anything else, either. Like any dedicated composer, Hasse has figured out the quirks and character of her instrument: She knows where to place a pause for best effect; she’s learned that cell phones will raise the pitch of a melody and that tempos can go astray. Hasse has gotten so into the process that she wrote a suite for mobile phones, premiered in 2002 by Royal Academy of Music students using 10 mobile phones.
“Ring tones are not high art!” she told the BBC. “I’m just trying to share my music with people.” Indeed, ringtones aren’t her life. Hasse’s solo and chamber works have been performed at Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. But she has also created sound logos for websites and music for audio books. She’s just one of the composers out there who are exploring the everyday music of life in the 21st century, those little tunes that invade our brains. “