Monday, September 8, 2008

Carillon - Cast in Bronz

A recent trip to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival revealed a new instrument, one that I'd not heard before. I first saw this instrument last year, but didn't stick around to see or hear the magnificent sounds of the Carillon. This year was different. According to wikipedia:
A carillon is a musical instrument consisting of at least 23 cast bronze cup-shaped bells which are played one after the other (to play a melody) or sounded together (to play a chord). A carillon is played by striking a "baton" keyboard with the fists and by pressing the keys of a pedal keyboard with the feet. The keys activate levers and wires that connect to the metal clappers that strike the bells, which allows the performer (called a "carillonneur") to vary the intensity of the note according to the force applied to the key.
Why was this exciting? Well it was the sound, the sound could be heard all over the fairgrounds of the Renaissance Festival. The beautiful melodies and chords reverberated with subtle country appeal across the rolling land and fields of this farmland and woods edge, it was the pastoral attractiveness of that setting that set that appeal forth in a serene kind of way. And as I began to hear those sounds, I approached, it actually took a while because the frequencies seemed to travel so far. Soon I was there, and enjoyed the performance by 'Cast in Bronze', the only musical act in the world that features the carillon.

I recorded this video:

No comments: