AMuSE – PEAL – Church Bells Event

Date/Time
Date(s) - 23 Sep 2019


Peal Poster-01

PEAL – A synchronised church bell ringing performance

Date: Monday 23 September 2019

Time:  7pm

Venue: Dockyard Creek, Grand Harbour

Directed by: Kenneth Cauchi

The bells will peal out from the following churches:

i) Basilica of the Virgin of Victories, Senglea Basilica
ii) Collegiate Parish of St. Lawrence, Vittoriosa
iii) Collegiate Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception, Cospicua
iv) St. Theresa Church, Cospicua

There will be around 25 bell ringers ringing bells at the same time. This is an important first in the history of Maltese campanology given the technology available to make this synchronisation possible.

This event will form part of a series of events for the project Artistic Multi Sensorial Experience – AMUSE, whose pinnacle will take place in September 2019. AMuSE is a Creative Europe project co-funded by the European Commission. 

The bell ringing exercise scheduled to take part in Cottonera on the 23 September is the first such event of its kind to take place in the Maltese Islands. The event will involve the ringing of the bells of the Collegiate Churches of Vittoriosa and Cospicua, and those of Senglea Basilica. The event will draw to a close with the ringing of the excellent set of tuned bells of the church of St. Theresa of Cospicua which is geographically set dead centre between the aforementioned churches the bells of which will be used as a platform to grace Cottonera in an intangible manner.

Such an endeavour has not taken place before for the simple reason that it requires near perfect communication skills, which can be achieved quite easily given today’s modern communication skills.

From the six bells of Vittoriosa, three were cast in Malta by the Trigance founders in the foundry of the Order of St. John, while the largest is the work of the notable Maltese bellfounder from Cospicua, Giuliano Cauchi. The remaining two bells are Genoese imports.

Three of the four bells of Senglea were also cast in Malta, the first two by the lesser known Gio. Antonio Tanti of Tarxien while the other by Giuliano Cauchi again. The last Senglea bell was cast by none other than Domenico Canciani “il Canciano dalla Venezia” one of the most famous (and rare) bell founders from the lagoon city.

The 6 bells of Cospicua form a unique and miscellaneous amalgam of different founders’ work. Four of them pride themselves to be of Maltese provenance, namely: Antonio Famuncelli, Aloisio Bouchut, and Giuliano Cauchi. The remaining are imports from Italy namely Nicola Codullo and again the largest Maltese work of Domenico Canciani.

The 5 bells of St Theresa mark the genesis of British bellfounding in Malta namely with four bells cast by Cyril Frederick Johnston and the largest by his rival Edmund Denison Taylor. These bells are harmonically tuned on the old international standard pitch, and provide a treat to the ears with their glorious excellent harmonic output.

AMuSE closing events will kick off on Monday 23 September at 7pm with ‘Peal’, the synchronised church bells ringing performance at Dockyard Creek (Dock No 1), and continue with the interactive concert ‘SensitIV by Goldberg Ensemble on Tuesday 24 September at 7pm at Palazzo de La Salle, Valletta. The final exhibition of artworks will be launched on Tuesday 24 September and will remain open until 31 October 2019 at Palazzo de La Salle, Valletta. Entrance is free for all events. More details on www.artsmalta.org/events

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