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for soprano 1, soprano 2, mezzo-soprano, baritone

Sokolović describes Dring, Dring as a “little musical theatre piece inspired by the telephone and the actions we take around that common object.” Divided into four sections (“dialling,” “answering,” “lullaby,” and “bye-bye”), the piece explores both the sounds emitted by the telephone and our human interactions with it. To accomplish the former, Sokolović uses extended vocal sounds—clicks, clacks and peeps—to create a musical patchwork of familiar aural experiences. The dial tone, the busy signal, and the keypad tones all become musical gestures. Through Sokolović’s translation of these common sounds, the mechanical is made musical. Beyond this, our human relationship with the phone is reflected by the four voices that “answer” in English, French, Spanish, and Serbian, conveying the fractured experience of communicating in multiple languages. Dring, Dring is a highly entertaining piece that singers enjoy performing as much as audiences enjoy hearing. 

Performed by
Virginia Hatfield, soprano
Eve-Lyn de La Haye, soprano
Krisztina Szabo, mezzo-soprano
Giles Tomkins, baritone

Commissioned by Soundstreams with generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.