Bell Ringing Methods in the Leaning Tower of Niles

Leaning Tower of Niles, IL Watching this video, you probably guessed that a computer communicates the programmed melodies to the external bell clappers, and that it keeps the bell performances on a schedule. And you are correct! And you are also correct that the Clock-O-Matic’s Apollo III bell controller can be accessed and manipulated via an onsite controller, remote, … Continue reading Bell Ringing Methods in the Leaning Tower of Niles

Hell’s Bells

In honor of the invasion of spooks and ghouls tomorrow on Halloween, I thought we’d focus on bells representing the profane. I give you . . . "Hell’s Bells" by AC/DC. That is a real, honest-to-goodness one-ton bronze bell hanging above the stage. Michael Milsom, former bellmaster at Taylor foundry in Loughborough, England, gives … Continue reading Hell’s Bells

Tsar Bell Finally Rings

The folks over at UC Berkeley have done it again--they've dreamed up a scintillating, beautiful project with bells at the core like their "Natural Frequencies" and "Polartide" performances from recent years. So what's happening? What's happening is a performance of the re-created sound of the fabled Tsar Bell. They've used computer modeling to virtually create … Continue reading Tsar Bell Finally Rings

I see your nine hours and raise you 10,000 years

The visionary Brian Eno has outdone the nine hour performance concocted by Dorothy Sayer in The Nine Tailors. He’s imagined a change ringing method that will last 10,000 years. See these gorgeous, noble Bristlecone Pines? They are some of the oldest living things on earth—the oldest known specimen is over 5,000 years old. And they … Continue reading I see your nine hours and raise you 10,000 years

The Nine Tailors’ Nine-Hour Bell Performance Part II

In the last installment, we made sense of a relatively simple change ringing method, the Plain Bob Major, as a basis to understanding the Kent Treble Bob Major, which is performed for nine hours in The Nine Tailors. So here’s the grid for the Kent Treble Bob Major. It’s more complicated than the Plain Bob … Continue reading The Nine Tailors’ Nine-Hour Bell Performance Part II

The Nine Tailors’ Nine-Hour Bell Performance

I recently finished Dorothy Sayers’ The Nine Tailors, a mystery novel in which bells feature prominently. The setting is a provincial English town with a formidable church and an equally formidable set of bells. These bells are rung in the change ringing tradition, so that each bell (in this case, eight bells) is rung by … Continue reading The Nine Tailors’ Nine-Hour Bell Performance

Patterns in the Sand

Check out this demonstration of Chaldni plates! The demonstrator changes the frequency by changing the position of the bow and his finger at the edge. For every frequency a different sand pattern arises according to the vibration pattern of the plate. Where there are few vibrations, called nodes, the sand settles, and where there are … Continue reading Patterns in the Sand

Paul Revere, Bell Founder

Did you know that Paul Revere cast bells? I know, right!? He warns of enemy troops AND casts bells—he's a patriot after my own heart. And really, he did it all. He was at one time or another a silversmith, engraver, revolutionary propagandist, soldier, cannon founder, dentist, hardware store proprietor, coppersmith, and bell founder. Well, … Continue reading Paul Revere, Bell Founder