Cast in Bronze
There is something about listening to the sounds of bells being played in harmony that makes your soul swell. Bells in a structure that allows them to be played with a keyboard-like device are called a carillon and they are usually housed in a belfry or some type of tower at a fixed location. Cast in Bronze brings a historically accurate carillon to the faire. Yes, it is a portable carillon, and this carillon has been thrilling audiences all over the nation for years. Cast in Bronze is a tough act to beat if you are looking for the unusual and awe-inspiring, the thrilling and the moving.
The carillon is an enormous musical instrument. Cast in Bronze is made up of 37 bells some of which weigh hundreds of pounds a piece. Bells being played for musical entertainment started in the 14th century but it wasn’t until the 18th century that people begin to get the tuning of the bells in a foundry down as an art form. This tuning allowed multiple bells to be played to play a tune.
A small carillon consists of 23 or more bells and is called a two-octave carillon (this of course referring to the number of notes and octaves that the instrument can play). Larger carillons, called concert carillons, use 45 or more bells and they can play at least 4 octaves of notes. Carillons are popular all over Europe and you can hear centuries old music ringing out across towns when a Master-Carillonneur sits before the keyboard and begins to play.
Cast in Bronze and the the Master-Carillonneur – the “Spirit of the Bells” – tour one of the few mobile carillons in the USA. They take this portable belfry around the country to venues and exhibit not only this immense instrument but the glorious music that it produces. The first time I heard Cast in Bronze was at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. We saw it listed on the entertainment schedule but thought we would not have time to make one of their shows. As we walked through the fair we heard this ethereal, wonderful, magical sound and we broke into a run to make it in time to catch the majority of their performance. It was like nothing any of us had ever heard or seen. You are captivated by the musician, whose face you cannot see and this portable bell tower that sits in front of you. You can watch as the bells are struck and move. You get to watch what it must be like to be inside the bell-towers of the cathedrals of Europe. There is no describing the power and awe.
Check the video below, it will do a better job of explaining it then I do: