Friday, 11 April 2008

The bells! the bells!

I seem to be finding a lot of good things in the Telegraph these days (which, being a Guardian reader by nature, I find a bit of a worry...)

Today there's a video on Big Ben.

Let's make all pedantic negative point first. The photos of bellfounding that you see are obviously from between, say, 1910 and 1930 - they aren't of the original process. I'd prefer it if either correct archival material was used (but I don't think any Victorian artists or engravers ever visited the bell foundry - I'd love to be corrected) or modern footage.

But the thing I really loved was seeing a bellfounder talking about his bells. How you can not just pitch a bell, but also give it a particular voicing - which partials do you want to come out? I do wish this guy would give a real interview - not a sound bite, but ten whole minutes talking about his trade.

And how articulate he is. Look at the overalls and the dirty hands - you might think this is a tongue-tied builder. Not a bit of it.

Anyway, for what it's worth, a nice little video.

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