The day David Bowie's 'Life On Mars' rang throughout Sydney

Primary tabs

Beautiful bells carried this Bowie classic through the air.

It had been a long time since I attended O Week. But last week, I was back on campus at Sydney University doing just that.

I restrained myself from signing up for the More Beer Club that was proving very popular amongst the freshers. I was there for a reason, and not just to further my ongoing studies in rocket science. 

It was to hear a song, that Double J listeners helped me choose, played on a carillon.

What's a carillon I hear you ask? I too had no idea until I won a charity auction last year. I won the privilege of having a song of my choice played on one at Sydney Uni. 

Basically, it's bells. Beautiful big, booming, and small tinkling bells. They're all controlled by a keyboard located in a clock tower. 

 

There are only 600 carillons in the world and Sydney Uni has one. It's  located in an impressive Gothic Revival building. Its original purpose was as a war memorial. Some of the bells have names of people lost in the war engraved on them. It's all rather moving.

Amy Johansen was the carillon player who performed like a champ. She was also kind enough to let me have a go on this intriguing bit of equipment. You can tell by my intense concentration face in the video that I loved it.

Hearing David Bowie's 'Life On Mars' ringing out in the sky was just a little bit magical.

Thanks Double J listeners.  You made the right choice. 

Open