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Bells, Bells, And More Bells! New Musical Work Comes To Eugene


A new musical work of contemporary percussion rendered with 300 bells and similar instruments makes its West Coast debut in Eugene, Thursday night. KLCC’S Brian Bull previews the performance.

“Sonorous Earth” is based on a previous work by composer Augusta Read Thomas called “Resounding Earth”…which premiered six years ago.  The Grammy-winning Third Coast Percussion played it at the University of Notre Dame.

Credit thirdcoastpercussion.com
The four members of Third Coast Percussion.

The Eugene Symphony commissioned “Sonorous Earth,” which Thomas also arranged for the group. It’ll use bells from many different cultures from across the world.

“I have absolutely loved bells for my entire life," Thomas tells KLCC.  "I just wanted to write a piece for nothing for bells. I know it sounds absolutely crazy. But it’s just such an interesting sound world and a spiritual world.”

The piece had its Midwest Premiere in Chicago last fall. The Eugene Symphony’s Francesco Lecce-Chong will conduct this performance.

Some of the bells, as well as Augusta Read Thomas and Third Coast Percussion, will be at a special event Wednesday (4/18) at 3pm, at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

****WEB EXTRA****

Credit augustareadthomas.com

Listen to an extended interview between composer Augusta Read Thomas and KLCC's Brian Bull about her latest work, "Sonorous Earth", her lifelong love of bells, and what it took to round up the hundreds of instruments.


Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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