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Halleleujah, my Babel Bell is done!

Some while back I said that God was going to make my Babel Bell. What I meant was that I had determined a set of parameters to come up with as random a sound as possible. I selected events and reduced them to a series of mathematical possibilities which would yield either a yes or a no response. For example, I suggested watching people at a set of traffic lights, and seeing if either a male or a female crossed the road first. This would give a result of either one or the other. In other words, every decision I had to make could have been determined by the flip of a coin.

So that’s how I made my Babel Bell, with a coin, instead of doing all those other things. I just didn’t have the time, or the enthusiasm. So my bell wasn’t really made by God. Or was it? Random acts are often attributed to higher intervention, and in this cynical world where religion is being slowly snuffed out, I chose to believe that God paid special attention to my needs, and designed my Babel Bell for me. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like you to meet God:

One Pound Coin

As you can see it’s nothing more than a coin, a British one pound coin, with a head and a tail. But from now on we shall refer to the coin as God, and we shall treat it with the same respect.

So I tossed God several times into the air, and he told me that I should make my sound by using someone else’s recording, it should be a natural sound, and it should be a tonal sound. With those instructions I came up with the idea of using the opening piano chord from Philip Glass’s Les Enfants Terrible.

I then asked the Holy Trinity what the attack, sustain and decay times should be, and he gave me a list, totalling about 20 seconds. As you may well be aware, the piano chord was less than half a second long, so I had to timestretch it. I stretched the sound by about fifty times, making it unrecognisable as a Philip Glass piano chord.

I then proceeded to apply various effects to the stretched out chord, obviously consulting our Lord and Saviour at every step of the way. Now I have to say that I was not altogether convinced by God’s abilities to make a good sound. He seemed to make decisions that, quite frankly, I found irrational and unnecessary. Nevertheless, I followed his advice to the letter, and came up with a rather bizarre sound. Never before have I had the need to apply reverb, chorus, phaser, flanger, autopan, tremelo and ring modulation all on the same piece of audio. But that’s what He told me to do, so I did it. Clearly God doesn’t believe in moderation. The sound will be played sometime in Prague, and I hope you enjoy it.



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