The Klaipėda Carillon Festival is the first large event that the Klaipėda Concert Hall organizes after a long break, which occurred during the three-month nationwide lockdown. Yet there is one unique instrument in town, the Klaipėda Carillon, which did not fall silent even during the quarantine. The ringing of its bells, hovering high and wide above the harbour city, continues to give vibrancy to the city’s soundscape.
This prelude of carillon sounds serves as a lead-in to the Klaipėda Carillon Festival on June 24th, which returns for the seventh time in a row this year. In the given situation, concerts of carillon music acquire even more relevance.
Since time immemorial people have believed that bells were endowed with healing powers that affect body and soul, that is, elevate the spirit and improve physical health. Researchers have discovered that bell vibrations cleanse the environment of negative energy. Low frequencies have a soothing effect and help relieve stress, while high frequencies tend to invigorate and exhilarate. Thus attending a concert of bell music may also have a therapeutic effect, apart from being a fun form of leisure.
The Klaipėda Carillon is one of the three standard-sized (four-octave) concert carillons in Lithuania whose audible presence has become the signature of our city. It was mounted in the tower of the Klaipėda Central Post Office in 1987 and remained in service until 2006, when it was replaced with the new instrument manufactured by the Royal Eijsbauts Bell Foundry in Asten, the Netherlands.
The newly installed concert carillon has 48 bells, with the tonal range of four octaves and a total bell weight of about five tons, which amounts to ten tons together with the supporting frame structure. The largest bell weighs 900 kilograms.
The Klaipėda Carillon Festival celebrates the summer solstice with four concerts that will take place during the longest summer day, on June 24th. The ringing of carillon bells pervades the air in the whole old town area. But the best spot for focused listening is the courtyard of the Klaipėda Clock and Watch Museum where all concerts are screened live so that the audience may not only hear but also watch carillonneurs perform in the bell tower.