Nine newly cast bells have gone on display at Notre Dame, the Paris cathedral, weeks before they are hoisted into the two great towers in time for Easter.
The new bells, weighing 23 tons in total and named after saints and prominent Catholics, have been cast to mark the 850th anniversary of the Cathedral’s founding in 1163. They replace bells which had become discordant, and will first be heard as they peal out on March 23, in time for Palm Sunday and Easter week.
Other than the Hunchback jokes, there’s something I’d really rather like to do.
It would be fabulously expensive, entirely insanely so in fact. But to cast such a series of bells out of tantalum. For that metal “rings” superbly. Back a few years we bought some “tigli” (I think I’m remembering that word properly) as tantalum scrap. Crucibles used in the production of something or other. And the way to test that they were indeed tantalum and not some other lesser metal was to strike them: at which point they rang like a very clear bell. And this was a lab crucible, not something shaped to ring well at all.
So, it would be very fun indeed to cast and install a proper carillon (??) of bells in that metal and install them somewhere. Central London say: they would be entirely distinctive.
There is one little, teensie, problem though. The cost. Leave aside manufacturing costs (high, because no one has done this as yet, there’s no data on tuning them etc) and look just to the material costs. Eight or nine million $ just for the metal.
Might not be able to afford this all on my own really.