Listening To The Lack Of Rain

Posted By Derek Nance on Jan 27, 2014 |

Out here on the west coast we are having a terrible drought.  11 states in the West have already declared portions of their states disaster areas due to drought, and California has already had at least one wildfire this year. So today’s post is designed to taunt the weather into giving us rain.
I ran across this beautiful quartet entitled “Listening to the Rain” while wandering through YouTube.  One of the ringers in this video, Emily Li, is a name many American ringers are becoming more and more familiar with.  Her original pieces for bells are beautiful, and her students at the Hong Kong Handbell Academy are amazingly talented.  This particular performance is beautiful.  It captures the calm and rush of a rain storm using a whole range of handbell musician tricks.  From the video description:

“This composition is inspired by Song Dynasty poet Lu You’s poem Listening to the Rain in Winter. It is written for Handbell solo and a trio. The soloist uses the ‘six-in-hand’ technique to portray a pentatonic melody against the accompaniment, depicting the poet’s feeling when listening to the rain. Rapid notes played by the ‘bell tree’ help depict the bustling sounds of the prosperous Jin City.”

Performed by the Hong Kong Handbell Academy Quartet (Emily Li, Joyce Lo, Sandy Yeung, Christine Chan), here is “Listening to the Rain” by Sierra Tse.

Cover Image: Tintabulations, including the Handbell Brothers, mobbing Emily Li for a photograph in the lobby of our hotel at Handbell National Seminar 2013.