NO BELLS NO GLORY
Bells Lab creates innovative projects with bells and the carillon. We play from towers, but also bring the carillon to the public, because from June 2020 we will have our own carillon on wheels.
Bells Lab is an open experiment, a laboratory as an invitation to blending styles, disciplines, cultures, between past and future.
Bells Lab is the brainchild of carillonneur/performer/bell artist Jan Verheyen.
Bells Lab wants to build bridges: between the age- old carillon tradition and the future of this typical instrument of the Low Lands, between music styles, between cultural disciplines, between different cultures and worlds..
In this way Bells Lab wants to contribute to the promotion of the carillon culture, which was recognised by the Unesco as an exemplary culture.
Apart from the carillon Bells Lab is also interested in the heritage of singing bells which we want to bring in the public eye in an innovative way.
Bells Lab wants to develop into the most important reference for contemporary, innovative projects with bell music.
Bells Lab is the restart of Compagnie Aardbei. Jan Verheyen founded this Non-Profit Association In 2005 for Billy the Bell. This theatre performance has been a great success and has been performed as a narrative play with the carillon in the tower but also as a musical play with a mobile carillon and was used in different educational programmes.
Other projects followed soon which always intended to bring the carillon closer to the public and to address new target audiences.
Compagnie Aardbei has developed a whole range of concerts in which the carillon is combined with other instruments such as ‘Bellcanto’ (soprano), ‘Drums and Bells’ (e-drum), ‘Bells Ball’ (folk group Naragonia), ‘Guitarillon’ (guitar)…
Besides we created crossovers with dance such as ‘Symbiose’ and theatre such as ‘The speaking bell’ and ‘Billy the Bell’. We also organised even bigger events such as ‘Carillon Jam’ (DJ and dance) and the premiere of ‘Klankspiegelingen’ (orchestra, choir, organ, narration, imaging).
Finally we also took part in different events or festivals such as ‘Theater op de markt’ in Hasselt or ’10 jaar ’t Schaliken’.
After 15 years Compagnie Aardbei is ready to develop into Bells Lab.
Jan Verheyen is the driving force behind Bells Lab. Bells, clocks and carillon are his passion and he is eager to participate this passion with a larger audience.
Since 2008 he is the carillonneur of Hasselt and since 2015 also of Neerpelt. Jan has worked hard to have a carillon installed in Neerpelt. He is also requested to play concerts at home and abroad and teaches carillon classes at the music academies of Mol and Northern Limburg.
Jan studied at the Carillon Academy of Mechelen, the Dutch Carillon Institute of Dordrecht and obtained his Master’s Degree at the Luca Arts Academy in Leuven. Apart from his musical degrees he also has a Master’s Degree in language and literature (Germanic languages) fom the University of Leuven.