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The fairytale bells of San Rocco

We’re currently spending a little bit of time in northern Italy, recording and reimagining some of the sounds we come across in the process – today’s is from the beautiful town of Possagno.

At five o’clock, the bells at Chiesa di San Rocco high up on a hill overlooking the town chime out for an extended period.

Every bell in Italy has its own character and quality, and these bells have something of the “fairytale tower” about them, ringing melodically out over the town before slowly coming to a natural stop as their swinging ceases.

Here we can hear the entire peal right up until the end, when the hum of the afternoon takes over once again.

City version:

You could easily imagine these bells making an appearance in something by the Brothers Grimm, ringing out over the town that forms the backdrop to their latest fable – inspiring the reimagined composition.

To reimagine the bells, we’ve converted the melody of their ringing into the sounds of various music boxes and glass instruments, blended in with a woozy, reverby version of the original buried underneath and plenty of smudging, blurring effects.

This transforms the bells into a magical music box that might make an appearance in our fairytale from the Brothers Grimm, promising delights, or warning of horrors for whoever opens it.

Memory version: