The final performance in our Charlemagne Palestine Trilogy is his first ever composition for change ringing church bells. Change ringing is the art of ringing a set of tuned bells in a series of mathematical patterns, it differs from the carillon as no attempt is made to produce a conventional melody. Fascinated by this 17th-century English tradition, Palestine will create his own ‘maximus’, the name given to the pattern of changes on 12 bells. Performed by the ringers of the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas (12 bells) and St John the Baptist Church (8 bells) in Newcastle. You could walk between these two city-centre Churches to experience the full resonance of the ringing.
Charlemagne Palestine is an American composer, performer, and visual artist. A contemporary of Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Phill Niblock, and Steve Reich, Palestine wrote intense, ritualistic music in the 1970s. A composer-performer originally trained to be a cantor he always performed his own works as soloist. His earliest works were compositions for carillon and electronic drones, and he is perhaps best known for his intensely performed piano works. He also performs as a vocalist, singing long tones with gradually shifting vowels and overtones while moving through the performance space.
Commissioned by AV Festival 10, in partnership with The Durham & Newcastle Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers. World Premiere.