Upgrade to ring in new life for Carillon

Media Release

8 June 2016

TODAY, the National Capital Authority (NCA) announced that significant upgrade works had commenced on the National Carillon (the Carillon) to bring new life to the 46 year old lakeside structure. The multidisciplinary works include audio-visual, lighting, security and data upgrades to enhance one of Canberra’s most beloved attractions and one of the world’s largest musical instruments.

NCA Chief Executive, Malcolm Snow, stated that the Carillon had received a number of upgrades over the years, with the most recent works occurring almost 15 years ago. 

“The infrastructure currently supporting the Carillon is now outdated and a program of remedial works has been established to address this. It also presents us with an exciting opportunity to upgrade and replace original design elements to take advantage of contemporary technologies in both audio-visual and lighting capabilities.”

Mr Snow emphasised that the works would reimagine how the Carillon is utilised as a performance space and national monument. “For the first time, Canberrans and visitors alike will be able to experience multi-instrumental performances played alongside the Carillonists, facilitated by new speakers and microphone systems. The project will also upgrade existing luminaires to enable colour-change lighting so that the Carillon could be lit more creatively for special events and days of commemoration,” said Mr Snow.

NCA Lead Carillonist, Lyn Fuller, stated that the quality of performances from the Carillon and the visitor’s experience will be significantly enhanced by the project.

“Our talented Carillonists are Canberra’s hidden treasures with locals hearing our art but not fully appreciating what we do as we’re out of sight. We will now have the ability to stream performances live from the Carillon so that visitors can watch us perform in real-time or as recorded recitals. The addition of state-of-the-art audio systems will also be able to produce better quality sound for greater projection over Lake Burley Griffin,” said Ms Fuller.

The works will also include the installation of a high speed data link that will allow for fast streaming of performances both online and on-site via an improved visitor display booth. Additional modern and robust security systems would also future proof the electronic protection of the Carillon.

During the works, the Sunday and Wednesday Carillon Concerts as well as the daily ringing of the Westminister Chimes will be cancelled. The upgrade works are expected to be finalised by Spring 2016.