Symphony of Bells

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 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.

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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 the performance – 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.

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