Friday, December 15, 2006

Still not ring yet

(The title, of course, being the answer to the question "So what can you do up in the Trinity tower these days?" Other acceptable answers include "Ponder the catch-22 of being forbidden to ring until the sound control has been tested" and "Notice with surprise that there's still no ladder from the ringing room up to the bells, or even a hatch cut in the ringing-room ceiling.")

Despite there still being no regular ringing at Trinity, I have finally been up the tower for a test ring. The Taylor's guys came out again at the end of November to fix up some of the sound issues inside the tower. Before they left, they absolutely needed to hear the bells actually ringing, so we got permission to ring all 12 very briefly.

My impression was that they're gorgeous bells, the back eight especially. They got the sound down low enough that I could distinguish the tenors, even in rounds, instead of having them all blend together like they usually do on larger numbers. They're tuned differently than, say, the Boston bells, so the sound will take a little getting used to, but I think I like it. The 11, tolling by itself, had a particularly doomful sound.

Ironically, they did such a good job muting down the back bells, and catching sound from the front ones, that the front four had become way too loud. Presumably they fixed that before they left, though, and we'll have a nicely balanced twelve once we're actually allowed to ring.

The bells also went quite nicely, at least the ones that I tried (the 8 and the 9). I rang the 9 inside to Little Bob Major on the back eight with no difficulty, which (extrapolating quite a bit) makes Trinity's back eight no more difficult than Advent. I can definitely live with that.

The other exciting news from Trinity was our first 5-day beginners' class. We only got a turnout of 3, but they progressed spectacularly, despite being limited to a 100ish-pound dumb-bell and handbells. By the end of the week they were ringing rounds on 12 on the simulator, and had made it through treble-bob hunting on 6. (My personal epiphany for the week was how incredibly easy it is to keep straight treble-bob hunting on 6.) We took them up to Brewster on Saturday and they were more or less handling bells on their own by the end of the afternoon.

So, we're making good progress, I guess. All we still need are some actual ringable bells...

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