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Ring Tones > Play As You Go

FINANCIAL TIMES : March 30/31 2002
the business magazine : the loop, Oliver Bennett, Editor

Reinventing the ringtone

Mobile telephone ringtones - the short digital tunes that alert the owner to a call - are astoundingly lucrative. They are also, quite possibly, the single most irritating thing about modern life.

In response to this nuisance, composer Jean Hasse decided to explore the idea of using ringtones to write original music. "People say ringtones are annoying," she says, "but that's because they're not written for the phone." Indeed, her dedicated mobile music - abstract compositions, rather than a Casio version of the "Mission: Impossible" theme tune - could make life more bearable and even create a micro-genre.

Hasse has also written a (miniature suite) for 10 mobile phones, in which the players - students from the Royal Academy of Music - use five empty settings on their Nokia phones downloaded with tremolos, melodies and chords. She is looking for a venue or TV slot in which to perform the piece. Whatever your feelings about Hasse's work, her efforts to restore our sanity must be commended.

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