Thursday, August 20, 2020

Making Music on the Carillon

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In recent interview with WCPE Radio’s podcast Conversations with Instrumentalists, Joseph Fala, a Chapel carillonneur, describes the musicianship that goes into playing the fifty-bell carillon in the Duke Chapel tower.

“You play it with your whole body, with your hands and your feet moving at the same time,” Fala said.

In order to expand the repertoire that can be played on the instrument, Fala improvises on hymn tunes and creates transcriptions of music composed for other instruments.

“That’s just one of the things you have to do as a carillonneur because people will request things,” he said. “I have had students request different pieces from cinema or Broadway.”

Listen to the full interview.

Listen to the Chapel carillon each weekday at 5:00 p.m. on the Duke Chapel Facebook page.

Watch Fala play the carillon in this Sounds of Faith video: