Notes from Nowhere

mánudagur, mars 06, 2006

Ancient post

I've just been watching my mum and aunt ring the bells in a small Devon church, on one hand impressed and stimulated by the historic, modal form of ringing changes, on the other deeply moved by the sense of place, community and radiating devotion inherent in the sound.

Bellringers have always been a mite removed from the main congregation, spinning their abstract formal web of permutations in sound like a blanket over the countryside. This hidden congregation come early, and leave as the service begins, shiftying down the outer edge of the pews, distracting but tolerated, occasionally even thanked for their service.

Each bell sounds a primary note whose many glittering harmonics do not correspond to a single fundamental, giving the sound an ethereal quality. Together the harmonics create a noise map of heaven - no doctrine but din, no concept, but raw experience.

This early mass medium represents the ecstatic secular English tradition, disguised; you feel it as a sense of drama unfolds, the wonder and adrenaline flow, and as the bells accelerate into each other, bliss ascends, leaving only silence, leaving peace.


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