So I accidentally ran across this piece of music while searching for bells on Tumblr (yes, I even stalk bells on Tumblr) and immediately fell in love with it. By Chicago based group Anathallo, the piece “Bells” uses handbells to lay down a rhythm line that the vocalists beautifully sing over. The group told the story of the piece’s accidental creation to Paste Magazine.
“We moved to Chicago in the dead of winter in 2006/07 after receiving an offer to be the artists-in-residence at a beautiful old Northside church with some extra space. The people in the congregation were familiar with our music and are very supportive of the arts. So we moved in and started practicing. After a few weeks, we noticed seven large black cases sitting in the corner. Lo and behold they were filled with hand bells! In our youth, Bret [Wallin, Anathallo’s trombonist/percussionist/vocalist] and I had played in the hand bell choir during Christmas services and weren’t afraid to employ them on our record. We arbitrarily set them out and began working on what is now ‘Bells.’ Inventive title, I know.”
Here is the piece and a beautiful video to accompany it.