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Want Your Bad Romance [SLYT]
August 30, 2010 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Iowa State University students have been campaigning on Facebook for Professor Tin-Shi Tam to play Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" on the carillon. On Friday, Gaga's desire for leather studded kisses in the sand rang out across campus.
posted by magstheaxe (50 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, when you hear it that way, you see how much it really is like Bach after all.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:59 AM on August 30, 2010


In related GagaNews:
Lady Gaga is now the Queen of Twitter.

NBA Star Brandon Jennings Lady Gaga Performance.

'Telephone:' 'The Office' Version.
posted by ericb at 8:04 AM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Carillons are total badasses. They're all, "oh hi, did you want to listen to my pretty, pretty music? BUILD ME A BUILDING, BITCHES."
posted by phunniemee at 8:10 AM on August 30, 2010 [33 favorites]


Ah Gaga, it's been a while. How have you been?
posted by oddman at 8:12 AM on August 30, 2010


Needs more BLAM!
posted by chavenet at 8:12 AM on August 30, 2010


Dammit, now I'm going to have that song stuck in my head all day. Still - carillon! Awesome!
posted by rtha at 8:15 AM on August 30, 2010


We need to get her to do My Sharona next.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:18 AM on August 30, 2010


So the carillonneur actually plays on a keyboard and pedals to make the bells chime? That's awesome. It sounded like he or she got really into it around "walk, walk, fashion baby."
posted by peachfuzz at 8:20 AM on August 30, 2010


The Carillon tone on my fancy-schmancy keyboard isn't great -- wish they had sampled it as they had a few other things.

OTOH, I can render Gaga as toned-dog barks. Or machine gun fire.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:24 AM on August 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


That was alternately awesome and hilarious. I was struck by, at least for me, the degree to which the song was almost unrecognizable outside of the chorus.

So the carillonneur actually plays on a keyboard and pedals to make the bells chime?

On a for-reals, legit carillon, yes. There are, however, poseur carillons, where the bells are computer-driven. There are even faux-rillons" where the whole system, keyboard, bells, and all are replaced by electronics and loudspeakers. Sad.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:34 AM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you want to see a carillon up close and personal, you can catch Cast in Bronze at a lot of renfests around the US.
posted by kmz at 8:41 AM on August 30, 2010


The ISU Campanile is a real carillon. Tin-Shi Tam was playing it when I arrived on campus ten years ago. I always enjoyed catching the noon songs.
posted by TrialByMedia at 8:42 AM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Carillonneurs will totally surprise you. I used to work at an academic library and people would often donate their entire book collections when they died. This one guy donated tons of campanology books. As we were looking through them, we realized that one had a list in the front cover of what appeared to be women with whom he'd been involved. They had detailed information about things like hair color and physical attributes and notes about where they ended up or particular abilities they possessed (one of which was "married a Wop" which soured me on the guy). That list gave me a whole new outlook on carillonneurs and campanologists and just bell ringing in general.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:43 AM on August 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


I was struck by, at least for me, the degree to which the song was almost unrecognizable outside of the chorus.

If you keep up, you can follow along pretty well and it sounds spot-on but once you lose your place it tends to sound like random bells.
posted by smackfu at 8:44 AM on August 30, 2010


I love this. Nice post!
posted by zarq at 8:46 AM on August 30, 2010


Pffft. Real carillons are played by coordinated teams of hunchbacks and unemployed Cirque du Soleil acrobats swinging Tarzan-like from ropes dangling beneath the bells. Traditionally they are conducted with a mixture of thrown beer bottles and vague threats grunted in medieval French by Rip Torn. That's why they're so expensive to operate, and usually sound as if the bells themselves are drunk.
posted by Humanzee at 8:46 AM on August 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wow - You play your bells on a keyboard?

Mind - in the UK, we only have one song, so I suppose having a keyboard is technically better.
posted by seanyboy at 8:52 AM on August 30, 2010


Obligatory
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on August 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you keep up, you can follow along pretty well and it sounds spot-on but once you lose your place it tends to sound like random bells.

That's carillon all right.
posted by DU at 9:06 AM on August 30, 2010


The bells at my school were just a CD track, which I discovered one day when some enterprising youth replaced the CD with 'Hell's Bells' by AC/DC.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:07 AM on August 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


The carrillon at the UT-Austin campus would totally rock out on Friday afternoons. I spent most of a semester trying to figure out why they would always play "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Then I discovered it was the tune for the fight song, which was oddly disappointing.

As for the video, there is a lot of open space on that campus! Any campus I have worked at would have put up a building or two within the running time of the video!
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:09 AM on August 30, 2010


there is a lot of open space on that campus!

It's Iowa. Their main export is open space.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:15 AM on August 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


ISU's central campus is a very beautiful green space. The oldest parts of campus were built in a ring around that space.
posted by TrialByMedia at 9:24 AM on August 30, 2010


It's great that Google exists to let you know, any time you think you've thought of a new joke, that you haven't.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:32 AM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, she looks as if she's having fun.
University carillonneur, Tin-Shi Tam, may have the most unique job on campus. Each weekday around 11:30 a.m, Tam -- a petite woman with a bubbly personality -- effortlessly ascends the campanile's 79 stairs. She navigates the confined spiral staircase with ease, ducking where necessary to successfully maneuver the narrow passages.

After about five minutes, she reaches her destination -- a 12-by-12-foot room beneath the bell chamber that houses the carillon console.

Tam takes a moment to catch her breath before switching on the high-tech gadgets necessary for the live web casts of her noon carillon concerts. She takes her place at the keyboard and, 10 minutes before noon, begins to make the bells of Iowa State sing.

The four faces of the campanile's clock and a camera mounted on the ceiling are the audience Tam sees. She hears no applause. She receives no standing ovations. But after 15 years, anonymity is still a bonus.
Not any more, Professor. Enjoy the recognition!

(The whole article is great, getting not only into her history and the mechanics of playing, but it's obvious that she's been quite willing to have fun with musical choices before.)
posted by maudlin at 9:34 AM on August 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


Was I the only one reminded of The Onion's "local man"?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:42 AM on August 30, 2010


There's a church down the street from me that has, if not a full carillon, a pretty impressive collection of bells. I can't say for sure what the mechanism is, but they do full on songs - not just "Bell. Bell. Bell." If they would do this, I would be the happiest camper on earth, but they seem to stick to Christmas carols... even in the summer. I swear, I've caught "O Come O Come Emmanuel" (at least it's a *quasi* obscure carol) in July.
posted by sonika at 9:42 AM on August 30, 2010


My mother tells the story of when some of her classmates at Webster College (yes, it is Webster University now) got drunk and broke into the carillon one night.

The nuns who went to stop them apparently were amused. Mom said that drunken carillon is just as bad as you'd imagine.
posted by QIbHom at 10:00 AM on August 30, 2010


Last spring at the theater I work for, a packed house of art students waiting for a lecture to begin were treated to Bad Romance played on our three manual, thirteen rank Barton pipe organ. Once it became clear what song was being played (modern pop can sound muddled coming through an eighty-year-old organ) everyone was singing along and a few people were dancing in the aisles. It was amazing.
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 10:02 AM on August 30, 2010


OTOH, I can render Gaga as toned-dog barks. Or machine gun fire.

I have just now realized, thanks to this thread, that "Bad Romance" will sound perfect on my kids' Casio SK-1 using either "Brass Ensemble" or me barking into the sampler. I know what I'm doing after dinner tonight!
posted by davejay at 10:11 AM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Be wary, davejay. That kind of thing can get addictive, despite having long since passed the point where you are annoying yourself. Like scratching an itch so hard it's painful... but you can't stop.
*Begins. Fur Elise. With LASERbeams*

posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:14 AM on August 30, 2010


davejay: Oh man, I hope you post the results of that online somewhere. I loved playing things with all of the weirdo presets on my little Casio as a kid!
posted by sonika at 10:19 AM on August 30, 2010


You can send your musical requests here.

Also, here is an article about the history of the Campanile.

And about 100 yards South of the Campanile you can find a pretty cool piece of floor art:
Another tradition at Iowa State, is the superstition regarding the zodiac. The zodiac in the Memorial Union looks unworn due to the long-standing tradition of walking around the zodiac. The original artist planned for it to be walked on, but superstitious students know that walking on the zodiac will ensure the flunking of their next exam, so they cautiously walk around it. If a student does walk on the zodiac and wishes to transform his soon to be fate, he or she must throw a coin into the Fountain of the Four Seasons directly outside the Union.
You can always tell the visitors by the way they walk over that thing. The artist intended for the brass figures to be worn level with the ground and to be polished by people walking over them. Instead some poor schlep can be seen cleaning it on occasion.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:22 AM on August 30, 2010


She gave me water and VD.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:23 AM on August 30, 2010


At UIUC they also take requests... if you can find the room in Altgeld Hall. One day I was walking to class and caught part of the theme to the Flintstones.

Don't even talk to me about that Barad-dûr they built on the South Quad.
posted by sbutler at 11:07 AM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think most campus carillons take requests - Berkeley's is played three times each weekday, and I think they'd run out of ideas if they didn't open it up for requests. The first song I actually recognized was Taylor Swift's Love Story.
posted by expialidocious at 11:17 AM on August 30, 2010


Neat, but I really want to know is what does it sound like slowed down by 800 percent?
posted by Panjandrum at 11:19 AM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


ISU's central campus is a very beautiful green space.

That just means that the Administration hasn't given into their impulse to build all over it. I tell you, it is unnatural.... Must be something in the corn. Or the cows.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:25 AM on August 30, 2010


Nah, they just have only recently begun to exhaust the land around the sides of the campus. It's possible that buildings will someday take over the center, but there's been no reason to do so thus far.
posted by mikeh at 11:42 AM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I doubt they will build on it, considering that the central campus is an American Society of Landscape Architects Medallion Site and is regarded by the administration as a defining feature of the university.
posted by TrialByMedia at 12:12 PM on August 30, 2010


My university would alternate every hour the alma mater and school fight song. I assumed it was real bells but computer controlled. But it is entirely possible recordings were used. I should investigate...
posted by Green With You at 12:25 PM on August 30, 2010


Oh man, carillons! Every so often in late winter, one of the student carillon players at my campus (University of Rochester) decides to play the Harry Potter theme. We've got a similar set of bells, and it sounds fantastic.
posted by Wemmick at 1:29 PM on August 30, 2010


That list gave me a whole new outlook on carillonneurs and campanologists and just bell ringing in general.

Bell-ringers good at "ringing" "bells", news at 11.
posted by kenko at 1:55 PM on August 30, 2010


Cool! Now do Futurama. (Just call it "Psyché Rock" if they suddenly decide to be fuddy-duddies.)
posted by Rhaomi at 3:04 PM on August 30, 2010


Is anyone else wondering what Dorothy Sayers would think of all this?
posted by Diablevert at 4:12 PM on August 30, 2010


I have learned an awesome new word today: carillionneur.
Thank you for this.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:56 PM on August 30, 2010


The Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon in Springfield, IL (Washington Park) is the site of an international carillon festival each year. Unfortunately it's already passed this year, but it was the 49th such festival.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:36 PM on August 30, 2010


Is anyone else wondering what Dorothy Sayers would think of all this?

“God bless my soul!” exclaimed the Rector, much startled. “Do you mean to say, Lord Peter, that no murder has been committed here at all?”

“Quite so, padre.” Wimsey’s long, elegant fingers deftly sketched out the opening figure of a Bach toccata. “The mutilated skeleton in the bed was merely an accessory to a popular music video.”

“But how did you realise the truth?”

“It was obvious as soon as I discovered that discarded pair of shoes in the churchyard. No woman could have stood upright in those heels. The whole performance was plainly an elaborate fantasy.”

“But Peter dear, one thing still puzzles me,” interposed Harriet. “Why should this pop video, as you call it, have been staged in the belfry of Fenchurch St Paul?”

“That, I fear, we may never know. We must just be thankful that nothing in the church was tampered with. Quieta non movere, eh, Rector?”

“Or in plain English,” put in Harriet, her brown eyes sparkling mischievously, “keep calm and carillon.”

“That will do, Harriet”, responded Wimsey hastily. “Is the car ready, Bunter?”

As the Rolls nosed its way down the narrow lane, the bells of Fenchurch St Paul rang out across the cool evening air, their nine voices echoing across the fields and ditches of the Fens as they had done for so many centuries past.

Wimsey frowned, struck by a sudden sense of unease. Nine bells?

The voice of the bells of Fenchurch St Paul: Gaude, Gaudy, Domini in laude. Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Saboath. John Cole made me, John Presbyter paid me, John Evangelist aid me. From Jericho to John a-Groate there is no bell can better my note. Jubilate Deo. Nunc Dimittis, Domine. Abbot Thomas set me here and bad me ring both loud and clear. Paul is my name, honour that same. I want your love and I want your revenge.

Gaude, Sabaoth, John, Jericho, Jubilee, Dimity, Batty Thomas, Tailor Paul and Gaga.

Nine Tailors Make a Man.

posted by verstegan at 4:44 AM on August 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


If I went back in time this would be the first thing I did.

Shortly before dying of plague, of course.
posted by The Whelk at 10:40 AM on August 31, 2010


The bells at my school were just a CD track, which I discovered one day when some enterprising youth replaced the CD with 'Hell's Bells' by AC/DC.

Hmmmmm, did this in college, although I had to use my left over altar boy skills to reprogram the electronic system. Too much rum.
posted by Samizdata at 8:00 PM on August 31, 2010


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