That’s not all: If singer-songwriter and Ghent city composer An Pierlé likes your melody, she’ll use it to compose a piece of music. This will be the first crowd-sourced carillon composition in the world, and is the 42nd artwork in TRACK, the contemporary art festival currently running across the city of Ghent.
For TRACK, more than 40 international artists have staged works strongly rooted in the urban fabric of Ghent but at the same time linked to global issues. During TRACK’s closing weekend on 15 September, Pierlé will play the composition from within the city’s belfry tower, swapping her piano for a carillon.
Ghent’s vice-carillonneur Liesbeth Janssens is teaching Pierlé how to translate her musical ideas into a belfry tune. “It’s a very special instrument with a very characteristic sound,” says Pierlé, who notes that it’s impossible to practice on a carillon in private. “I’m a bit afraid to make mistakes, even while learning. When you practise on a carillon you are in fact playing for thousands of people! But it’s fun to hit batons with your fists at full force. Playing in the top of a mediaeval tower also stimulates my imagination.”
Pierlé, who is also working on a new album, will select her favourite name melodies and start composing the new belfry song next month.