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Festivals - Events - Workshops

bringing contemporary music and arts to the widest possible audience

City Symphonies of Bells

A massive array of tubular bells on the dockside

In 1996 Eye Music Trust brought internationally famous “Bells” composer Llorenç Barber to the UK to present the first British performance of his City Symphonies of Bells.

These extraordinary events bring together the main aims of Eye Music Trust – to enlarge the audience for contemporary music and to actively involve the public in music-making.

The Symphony starts with three aerial fireworks – conductors in each bell-tower start stopwatches and the piece is synchronized with the largest instruments that a town or city owns calling out to each other, echoing through the streets, and accompanied by local musicians at street level.

Over the years we have created Bells Symphonies in:

* York – where every bell was played in an hour-long symphony with brass bands playing on the church roofs, and percussionists floating on the River Ouse.  80,000 people came on to the streets to hear it – stopping the traffic for two hours!

* Liverpool – where Prince Charles rang eight bells to open the Symphony for all the city’s church bells, ships sirens on the Mersey and ships’ cannons.  The UK’s largest bell, Great George, rang continuously for one hour for the first time in its history.

• Ipswich rang its own Symphony including the world’s oldest change-ringing peal, and children from local schools created a procession of their own home-made bells.

• In Rotherham 2016 we created the first Symphony of Church Bells and Azan singing.  This united the various faiths of Rotherham in a musical creation and gave Eye Music's invention of giant Tubular Bells a second outing.

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