Stop by to listen to the newest flat bell in Auroville, with musician Vera Lipen
Regulars at Auroville, the experimental township near Pondicherry, will have experienced the harmony of the singing bells on campus. Vera Lipen, a member of the community who helped bring the bells to Auroville, recalls that when she first heard them on the streets of Moscow, the sounds awakened deep memories, and a connect to the spirit of Russia, where the folklore sees bells as animate beings. A discussion with the bell master and inventor Alexander Zhikharev helped her understand these installations, distinct from the traditional tulip-shaped variety. Also known as plate bells, they have a long sound, a special timbre and are a result of Zhikharev’s research. His experiments include bells of aluminium and granite, with the latter creating the sound of ‘‘metal suppressed for years, almost like people crying in prison.’’ Sometimes the sound emanating from a bell can be mediocre despite the tonnes of metal used to make it, points out Lipen. Fortunately, the latest bell at the international zone is anything but. Officially a translator on campus, the woman from Belarus says the peace bell that came in last month is special and is designed to awaken one’s consciousness. Crafted from aluminium in Moscow, it weighs 82 kilos, and has a low frequency. The sound is very meditative, adds Lipen, who is open to organising workshops on Mondays with prior registration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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