Hear the sledges with the bells
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
-Edgar Allan Poe, The Bells
I never miss an opportunity to throw in a Poe quote, do I? Go on with your creepy self, Edgar. Beautiful words. At any rate, I’m thinking a lot about bells this week, and Poe’s masterpiece came to mind.
We’re headed for Fall and I’m thinking about handbells. I love handbells. I really do. Ha! Let the Handbell Dork jokes fly! I have a sense of humor about it. I figure everybody is somebody else’s weirdo.
Our church has a magnificent set of handbells (truly), and I’m hard at work sorting far-flung boxes and boxes (and boxes and boxes) of music, finding the bell tables and stands, choosing music, putting books/folders together, and even writing and arranging music for the Handbell Ensemble at St. Luke’s.
Rather than doing a wall-of-people-at-tables-out-front performance sort of thing, my preferred approach to the handbells is a bit different. I see those crystalline tones as an organic part of a whole. Perhaps the bells chime the hour or play a prelude from the organ loft. Perhaps they support a hymn along with the pipe organ. Perhaps a simple, quiet solo or duet serves as special music. Small. Simple. Organic. I’m aiming for a quartet, or an octet at most.
Is it too weird to be dreaming of Christmas music in August? Ding dong.
You have a great day too!