The Circle Bells library was recorded using a rare and unique instrument called “Blossom Bells” created by local SF Bay Area master Pete Engelhart. This hand-held percussion instrument features six steel conical bells, tuned to different heights and spaced at different distances. Each bell has a deep, warm and sonorous tone with long sustain and crystal clarity. We recorded them with soft hammers, hard sticks and an alto bow with single hits / staccato and fills / sustains for each articulation. Its characteristic sound evokes the feel of a steel marimbaphone or celeste when played with hammers, but its character and undulating resonance defies direct comparison to any other instrument.
The bells range in size from 2 “to 3 1/2” in diameter and are about 10 “long. Each note can last for 10 seconds or more and carries a deep mixture of beautiful overtones. We recorded each one close together. Wide stereo. It is divided into three articulation sections: bow, hammers and sticks. We used the alto bow to create sustain and staccato. We used soft cloth hammers to play single notes and sustain fills, and hard sticks to play individual rolls. scraping and sustaining effects All articulations feature wide RR and deep dynamic velocity layering.