Twice a day, the glockenspiel in the Westpark plays folk songs in a charmingly out-of-tune way for people strolling around and the neighbouring residents. The instrument provides an acoustic connection with the last century, when steel bells were still produced on this site using the deep-casting technique – a worldwide export success for the Bochumer Verein. At the time, plenty of professionals made fun of Jacob Meyer for this technique, but, in strategic terms, manufacturing bells was a clever stepping-stone to the lucrative production of gun barrels.
To this day, the idiosyncratic factory glockenspiel is still there on the approach road to the Jahrhunderthalle. It has long since lost its practical function as a signal for the steel industry and it no longer strikes up national anthems for prominent visitors. The percussionist Fritz Hauser will compose an anti-fanfare for the festival site, causing irritation with the joyous over-extension of tone series, because the glockenspiel has indicated the time for a long while now. Hauser will treat this once representative instrument seriously as a musical ensemble, one that includes everything on a spectrum from the bright sound of a prayer bell to the ominous meaning of the death knell.