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L’immacolata – church bells in the forest

Cesuna, northern Italy: in this field recording, church bells ring in the forest just outside the entrance to a long pedestrian tunnel that is part of a footpath made from an old train track.

The train track ran from Asiago to Rocchette and has now been converted into a walking trail. On this cold December day, there was the crunch of ice underfoot, and the bells rang atmospherically through the clean, crisp forest air.

City version:

Memory version:

There’s always something special about the sound of bells in a forest, somehow adding a magical aspect to both the forest air and the sound of the bells themselves just by being heard in the same context, the crisp forest air lit up by the chimes of the bell.

For the reimagined composition, we’ve filled in the gaps with how we felt while making the original recording, with gratitude for the day and for the beautiful scenery.

Warm drones of brass contrast with the cold of the day itself, with a feeling of belonging, while celebratory peals towards the end of the piece emphasise the emotions brought up by the original sound of the bells, which continue to make themselves known throughout the piece. The tiny coda of the composition – my own footsteps in ice.