Photograph by Priya Kaul.
Aspen Island

The British government gave Australia the National Carillon in 1970, a gift to mark Canberra’s 50th anniversary. Accepted by Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of all Australians, the imposing building on Aspen Island, off Lake Burley Griffin, features 55 bronze bell chimes that ring out across the lake and through Kings and Commonwealth parks. The pitch of bells range chromatically through four and one half octaves and play regularly throughout the week. Separate mechanical systems of operation allow the quarter-hour striking of Westminster chimes. The carillon is used to play everything from classical musical to Rage Against the Machine. The tower was designed by West Australian architects Cameron, Chisholm and Nicol, with the three angular columns clad in quartz and opal chip. See this, and the rest of the national collection, in Canberra.

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