Olympic Bell

Laura Dickerson lauradi at IGtHycJqgMGkVeymgv37OZZMzeZKDwlhdT8y1EXBfw9wvqE7WduyscFlvHRA2cRRfqdQ6X_P.yahoo.invalid
Tue Jul 31 16:26:07 BST 2012

John Harrison wrote:
 >>Reminds me of a performance of Tchaikovski's 1812 Overture, using real
cannon, which had to be fired by real soldiers, at the command of a real
officer, on the other end of a military telephone to a musician at safe
range. I watched the musician desperately giving his commands earlier and
earlier to try to prevent the shots being late<<

     The bells (and ringers) at the Church of the Advent in Boston, MA 
participate each year in the Boston Pops' performance of the 1812 on the 
4th of July.  There is a microphone above the bells that feeds into the 
mixing board a couple of blocks away.  We start ringing early and they 
feed us into the loudspeakers when the score requires it.  The howitzers 
are pointed out over the river but very near to the stage, so the sound 
delay problem doesn't apply.
      This year there was a severe thunderstorm alert just before the 
piece was about to start.  People were evacuated to nearby tunnels until 
it was determined to be safe, and then the concert continued. It is 
broadcast on television, so the concert resumed at the point on the 
program suitable to the time, with a recorded version of the 1812 
replacing the live performance.  There we all were, but we weren't needed.
Laura Dickerson


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