Ring Out, Wild Bells

June 21st 2017 (premiere)

The TANK in Rangley, CO
vocal octet and field recording
(written for Roomful of Teeth)

“Premiered at the TANK Center for Sonic Arts during a Summer Solstice concert, it starts out like a Christmas carol and achieves a Tallis-like ecstasy before ending in pale violet sadness.”



I happened to be in Paris this past Easter Sunday morning, and while I was at a café three different churches within earshot started chiming to call everyone to mass. Amazing rhythms started to phase in and out of each other, so I ran outside with my phone and recorded it. This became the inspiration for “Ring Out, Wild Bells”, which is also a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson (published in 1850, yet still very relevant today) that accurately sums up what I wish to see in the world.

For musical reasons, I have extracted the following text and sequenced it differently from the original poem. I have also extracted a section of my original recording of the bells and looped it. The ensemble should accompany this track for the middle section of the piece.

It was an honor to have Roomful of Teeth bring this to life at the TANK’s Summer Solstice concert in Rangely, CO in 2017.


Ring…Ring out…

Ring out Wild Bells to Wild Sky!

The flying cloud, the frosty light,

the year is dying,

dying in the night.

Ring Out!

the false

the grief

the want

foul disease

lust of gold

wars of old

the coldness of the times

ring out my mournful rhymes

(the year is going!)

here we see no more

feud of rich or poor

(let him go!)

Ring out false pride!

in place and blood!

Ring in the love!

Ring in the love of truth and right

Ring in the common love of good

Ring in the valiant man

and free the larger heart

the kindlier hand

all that is true

the thousand years of peace

happy bells across the snow

Ring in the true

to the Wild Sky