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Dame Evelyn Glennie & the Chelys Consort of Viols

The Language of Bells

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World Premiere

Dame Evelyn Glennie
Chelys Consort of Viols – Ibi Aziz, Jenny Bullock, Kate Conway, Alison Kinder & Sam Stadlen
Emily Atkinson  soprano
David Gould  countertenor
Steven Harrold  tenor
Robert Rice  baritone

Opening bell strikes and chants   Jill Jarman
Awakening part 1 and 2  Jill Jarman
Prelude  C.F. Abel (1723-1787)
Percussion feature (improvised)
Magnificat   Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
Suite of Dances   Anthony Holborne (1545-1602)
1) Pavana ‘Amoretta’; 2) Galliard; 3) Almain ‘The Fruit of Love’
Quick, Quick, Away!   Michael East (1580-1648)
Alarm   Jill Jarman
A Little Prayer   Evelyn Glennie
In Celebration of Peace   Jill Jarman
Close of day bell strikes/ chants   Jill Jarman

A World Premiere from composer Jill Jarman, internationally renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and the Chelys Consort of Viols. Exploring the sounds of bells in renaissance and contemporary music.

The ringing of bells has meant many things to people for centuries: the call to worship, a marking of time, an alarm for danger, the joy of marriage, the sorrow of death. The Language of Bells, written in five sections, frames a programme that mixes the sounds of old and new, life and death, celebration and mourning, and examines the call of bells pealing across centuries of human experience.

The programme opens as the day begins, and we feel we are inside the bell, the sound drawing us into a day that starts calmly, with glimpses of monastic or church life drifting across the landscape. The day goes well and the bell witnesses dancing, a wedding, and joy. Until, suddenly, the peace is shattered by a panicked alarm. Now the bell’s job is to ring out a warning. As the chaos settles a period of calm and reflection follows, with the bell now bringing a feeling of sanctuary and peace. This builds to a cacophonous celebration and the day finally ends as it began, where Eastern and Western influences can be heard in a more meditative vein, drifting off, ready to start a new day with new adventures tomorrow.

About the artists

Jill Jarman is a composer and jazz pianist, whose music reflects diverse genres, effortlessly crossing the boundaries between classical and jazz. Science and the natural world often inform her creative process, inspiring her to develop new compositional devices that engage the listener in an evolving and multi-layered sound-world.

Visit Jill Jarman’s website here

Dame Evelyn Glennie is the first person in history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist. She regularly performs worldwide with top orchestras, conductors and other artists – having had the privilege of performing the first percussion concerto at the BBC Proms in 1992. Dame Evelyn is also a public speaker, and holds regular masterclasses and consultations.

Visit Dame Evelyn Glennie’s website here

Chelys Consort of Viols have garnered a reputation for their faithful yet fresh interpretations of the consort repertoire. They recently joined Dame Emma Kirky at her 70th birthday celebration concert at the Wigmroe Hall, and they regularly record for the BIS label. They had previously commissioned a piece from Jill Robert Rice, Emily Atkinson, David Gould, Steven Harrold.

Visit Chelys Consort of Viols’ website here

The singers for this project are some of the UK’s leading consort singers, two of whom have previously collaborated with Chelys. They regularly perform with ensembles such as the Tallis Scholars, The Cardinall’s Musick and Alamire.

Important information

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes, no interval


Feeling Sound with Evelyn Glennie


Covid-19 Safety information

For the safety of audiences, artists, volunteers and staff we will be taking a number of measures to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

These include proof of vaccinations, negative tests or proof of immunity, and the possibility of reducing capacity at the event if social distancing becomes necessary, in which case tickets will be refunded on a last in first out basis. Please note, that Under 18s will need to take a lateral flow test within 48 hours of the performance, and parents or guardians will be asked to show proof of their result on their behalf.


Read the full Covid-19 safety information here

Select a performance


4 November

07:30 pm

£7.50 - £30.00

Co-commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival

Supported by Golsoncott Foundation, PRS for Music Foundation, Arts Council England, GEMMA Classical Music Trust, RVW Trust

Masthead image: Evelyn Glennie © Phillip Rathmer

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