Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew

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tales and opinions of the wandering Jew

Ringing in the New Year

This afternoon, I joined visiting friends at the International YMCA in Jerusalem. There, we climbed the bell tower to take in the panoramic view and listen as our friend amazed us with his incredible carillon playing abilities. If anyone was near King David street/the YMCA or the surrounding areas, I’m sure you could have heard those bells singing from about 16:15-17:00.

Amazingly, playing the bells does not require crazy running around, hitting the bells. Nor does it require pulling long ropes to swing the clappers. A story below the bells was a room with a device that looked similar to a piano or organ. Instead of tickling the ivory, you pound the wood: when you press the wooden keys (like dowels), it pulls a wire that runs up through the ceiling and pulls the clapper, ringing the bell. So there’s a second’s delay between playing a note and hearing the bell. The higher notes equal smaller bells equal easier to press keys. The bigger, heavier bells result in lower notes; some of these keys were actually foot pedals. [Full photo set here. If I get permission, I’ll post some clips of on youtube.]

I was incredibly impressed. The set concluded with Auld Lang Syne, of course.

And let’s not forget about the view! Two stories above the keyboard, there was an open floor with four small balconies, one facing each direction. Before sunset, I captured a great view looking east: over the Old City, into East Jerusalem. And during sunset, another looking northwest, past the construction site of the King David Residence.

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Filed under: friends, israel, music, photos

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