Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stone Mountain Carillon Americana


Walking up Stone Mountain!  Sometimes, if you are there at the right times, you will be able to hear the music from the Carillon drift over to you and it is beautiful to hear. (A 732 bell Carillon, it was donated to the park by Coca-Cola after it was exhibited at The World's Fair in New York City in 1964. I found a great descriptive post about it and you may read it here.)  The music is played during the week from a recording but on the weekends it is played live by Mabel Sharp, a woman in her 90's!  She has been playing here for over 30 years!

You may drive closer to the lake and then walk to the building that houses the Carillon OR you may walk.  You know we walked! In my photo above, a gentleman has knocked on the door, asking if he could take a photo with her.  I could have done the same but I didn't want to bother her, so I just took this photo!  (She has someone with her, quietly knitting.)  Just after this, as I was waiting for her to begin playing, Miss Mabel Sharp came up to me and asked if it was my first visit there and I told her that we had been coming for years and that I loved her music.  I am happy that I was able to tell her that!  One of the past visits that we were there, I was overjoyed to hear three songs in succession that were just perfect for me:

ODE TO JOY
JESU, JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING
JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE

(I didn't think I would remember them for you but Richard said: Just remember OJJ...and then, the titles will come back to you. And he was right!)


Mabel Sharp also told me that they have installed bigger amplifiers now and that the music will be heard over a greater area! Look out for one of Richard's videos in the future!
The Yellow Daisies are blooming now and if you go early in the morning, not only will you see them in the morning light but you will enjoy their sweet fragrance!
So, remember to listen out for the Carillon, it's lovely.
And if you can't get to where I am in this world, listen for music wherever you are!


I looked at several videos of Mabel Sharp playing the carillon but decided on the one above, that is the way I usually hear it as we are walking, from a short distance and combined with birdsong.

And you know those three songs that I heard? You might not know that last one, so I have it here for you, sung by Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson!

35 comments:

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    1. I agree and it is my job to give you reports on them!

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  2. I always like the sound of church bells, or a multitude, heard faintly from a distance as they can be overpowering, like bagpipes, at close quarters. If its anything like learning the piano, muscle memory takes over with repetition in expert players so your body remembers how to play without actually thinking about it once you start a melody.

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    1. "Once you start a melody", that sounds like a good song title! I also love the sound of the church bells in England, we don't really have them in small towns in Georgia, not in my small town anyway!

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  3. I love carillons and it's always a special treat to hear one being played! I love those three songs too.

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    1. Hey Debra!
      Thanks for noticing those three songs, they were lovely to hear and to have the three together made it special for me.

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  4. That has to be a beautiful sound. And being in nature would make it all the more so. Those yellow daisies are just brilliant!

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    1. Stone Mountain is a hugely popular park that has tons of visitors but if you know how to do it, you are able to get away from the crowds and enjoy the nature and the faint sound of the Carillon! And the Yellow Daisies! They are spectacular every year and they are just wildflowers that come up, no one does one single thing to them!

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  5. They have a carillon in a town near here. I am not familiar with the history of it. They only play it on special occasions. Beautiful music.

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    1. Hey! You will have to check out the story behind it and tell us on a future post!

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  6. Oh my! Thank you so much for posting the video. What a wonderful experience to just stand there and listen to it out in nature.

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    1. We can even hear it on top of Stone Mountain! Glad you liked the video, wish they had shown the mountain in the background though!

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  7. How wonderful that she is still playing! Hope she can continue for a long time to come!

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  8. I didn't know what a carillon is, but now I know, and have even heard it on the video you have provided. Thank you!
    Mabel Sharp is in her 90s? Wow! I hope she'll be able to play for many more Sundays.

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    1. I hope so too. I am glad that I was able to tell her that I loved her music!

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  9. That's amazing; I don't think I've ever heard anything quite like that and to experience that unique combination of music and sounds of nature must be sensational. I must confess I only had the vaguest idea of what a carillon was. Fascinating. I expect this keeps Mabel going too; wonderful!

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    1. And here is the thing, it truly sounds better IN PERSON, if you see what I mean, the sound quality is clearer and more pleasing to the ear! Glad you liked it! And thanks again for your post showing us the grave of Jerome K. Jerome, much appreciated.

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  10. 732 bells! That sounds an amazing number. I love church bells (I was even a bell-ringer for a short period) but I'm used to change ringing and I've always been a bit unsure about tunes played on bells. However I do like Patsy Cline very much and that's a pretty definitive rendition of the last of your three pieces.

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    1. I have read that it is the biggest carillon in the world! And I didn't know that until I did this post! I found an interesting link about it if you would like to read it. http://www.grantbob.com/2007/05/inside-carillon.html

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    2. And I meant to say, I am glad you liked the song by Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson too!

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  11. I live about 10 minutes from Stone Mountain and have never been up close to the carillon. You inspire me to do that!

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    1. Only 10 minutes? Why, they would never get me out of there!! It's pretty to walk down to the Carillon from the parking lot near the sky lift. And I said walk down, since it is downhill, just remember that if you have to walk back up!

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  12. They do make a beautiful sound don't they?
    Put that sound and a walk up Stone Mountain together and you have a magical time.
    I don't remember hearing that sound other than when we were in Georgia.

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    1. Magical! I am so glad that someone understands me and my love for Stone Mountain!!
      I am still able to walk our walk, but dang it, the mountain is steeper now, I swear it is! :-)

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  13. Years ago, back in the early 70s a friend's brother sang Ode to Joy as she and her new husband walked out of the church. I was their attendant at their wedding. You've just restored the memory of that day....it was a lovely wedding...and the reception was held under a giant marquee on the property of her older sister and her husband....on acreage.

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    1. And I love Willie...and there will never be another Patsy. She was wonderful.

      I saw Willie Nelson live in concert back in 2002. He was great...of course!

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    2. Just now seeing your comment, Lee! So happy this brought back a happy memory for you!

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  14. Ode to Joy is one of my all time favorites! So cool to hear it in your video!

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    1. Come to Stone Mountain and walk up with me and we will hear it from the top! Doesn't that sound nice?

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  15. I can't tell you how happy I am to find your blog, and specifically this post! My (English) husband and I got married under this carillon on a blustry Saturday in December 1998, and Miss Mabel played an impromptu Christmas concert for us and our guests which we still listen to at this time of year. I'm thrilled to hear she is still going strong, and will make it a point to see her when we are next in Atlanta in April 2016. Thank you so much for the video and audio -- really enjoyed it!

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    1. Hello!
      Thank YOU for your sweet comment! I LOVE that you got married under the carillon and bless you, in December! That would have been a cold wind blowing across the lake!!
      You must tell me when you are here in April, I would love to walk up Stone Mountain with you, or we could walk to the carillon and hear Miss Mabel! :-)

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