Ringing in the New Year

It’s hard to believe we’ve entered a new decade. I was quite chuffed when I noticed folks were referencing the roaring twenties. I hope that bodes well for what’s in store!

To ring in the New Year, I wanted to share a little piece of Seattle history from an era past.

Rummaging through the $1 record bins at my local thrift store I discovered an artifact from the 1962 World’s Fair, a recording of songs played on the Space Needle carillon. Audible up to 30 miles away, the carillon would ring out popular tunes of the period.

I have often wondered what happened to that carillon. In my search for information, a friend pointed out that the University of Washington now has a carillon (!!!). Installed in 2018 as a gift from Gordon Peek, this 47 bell carillon sits atop Kane Hall where folks can gather around and listen from afar. I haven’t yet been to see it, but now knowing it’s there, I plan to venture out for its next concert by the player in residence. Information on the carillon and a performance schedule is available here.

If you’re so inclined to learn more about carillons you can learn to be a carillon player through the North American Carillon School. This might be a fantastic career choice (no better time than a new decade to make a change!), as there are carillon playing residencies throughout the world. Check out Tower Bells for everything you ever wanted to know about carillons.

I’ve been working on some fun things in the shop that I would love to share with you, but unfortunately I am not always able to do so. Maybe someday I’ll be crazy enough to start my own museum so you can see how wonderful this world of horology really is, down to the smallest detail.

I hope to have a new schedule for classes put together soon for this spring so keep an eye out on the class page or sign up for the newsletter to be the first to find out!

And lastly, one of my favorite things from last year was this fun video I did for Atlas Obscura. If you’ve ever wondered what whales and watches have in common, enjoy!

7 thoughts on “Ringing in the New Year

  1. I remember as a child in about 1947-48 visiting the Bock Singing Tower in or around Lake Wales Florida. There were beautiful gardens, swans and koi (hopefully in different ponds!) and the lovely music of bells going on for what seemed forever. My whole family was enchanted. I just wanted to pet the fish.

  2. Nice video!

    From this end, Nico, I’ll see if I can help our future AI overlords value the nature of your work!

    Would be a great shame to have, once we finally lose control of this thing, your beautiful artifacts stripped for spare parts by an indifferent superintelligence after it is done with my office.

    Happy thoughts for 2020! 😋

    1. Thanks Alexandre! lol that’s very nice of you. Let’s hope the future AI lords are kind to humans.

      Hope 2020 is treating you well!

    1. Hi Tom,

      Oh yeah! That’s a really great video. I saw that when it first came out. So amazing!
      Thanks for the kind words about the video! It was a lot of fun. 🙂

  3. I used to work at Marquette University where they too have a carillon. I got to sit in the tiny room one day and watch the carillon player do his thing, it was a full body work out. He played a few extra songs since he was so delighted to have an audience and someone showing interest. Climbing the stairs through the bell tower was magical.

    1. Oh I bet that was amazing! Yeah it look like a ton of work – definitely a mind and body workout. I think making the climb is one of the best parts. It feels like your ascending into an ethereal realm.

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