Sigismund Bell


Reconstruction. Today, artists are looking at Jan Matejko’s painting, which became the starting point for an audiovisual installation prepared by Professor Marek Chołoniewski and students of the Intermedia Faculty of the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków and the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Kraków. Its main idea is based on an audio reconstruction of Renaissance Kraków at the beginning of the 16th century, with particular reference to the canvas of the Krakow master and the acoustic atmosphere that accompanied the hanging of the bell. The buzz of conversations between the dignitaries invited to the ceremony, the comments of royal jester Stańczyk, the remarks of the court architect, the shouts and announcements of Hans Beham, bell-builder, who commanded the entire “operation”, the words of the bishop’s prayer, the sounds of the labourers’ efforts, and finally the uproar of the onlookers all created an unusual sound spectacle. Its audience and performers formed a diverse social structure of medieval Kraków, a peculiar mix of cultures and languages: Polish, Italian, German, Hungarian, Czech or Latin. Such a celebration certainly did not take place without a musical setting, as the most famous lute-player of the time appeared in Matejko’s painting. The sounds produced by the machinery used to hang the bell, weighting over 12 000 kg, up the tower, should not be overlooked either.

The composition was performed on 9 July, 2021 at 9 p.m. in front of the Sigismund Tower.

Bells of distance

Bells of Distance. Sound installation that use the sound of the bell as a percussion…