Bells at Oslo's City Hall honour Bowie

12th January 2016, Comments 0 comments

The bells at Oslo's City Hall rang to the tune of David Bowie's "Changes" on Tuesday in honour of the late music icon, as they will do every evening until the end of May.

"We received so many requests and there was such unanimity that we just decided to do it. To be honest, there wasn't really even any discussion about it," bell ringer Laura Marie Rueslatten Olseng told AFP.

Around 70 people braved sub-zero temperatures to listen to the first playing of "Changes" on Tuesday at 7:00 pm (1800 GMT).

After seven gongs marking the hour, several bars of Bowie's hit song were played.

The clock tower at Oslo's City Hall marks the passage of time with different musical pieces every hour.

Featuring such classic composers as Edward Grieg, Eric Satie and Vivaldi, as well as more modern hits such as "Imagine" by John Lennon, the programme is sometimes changed to reflect current events.

Bowie thus joins a playlist already featuring heavy metal group Motorhead, which was added after the death of the band's frontman Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister last month.

A few days after the Paris attacks on November 13, the bells played "Til Ungdommen", a Norwegian hymn about peace.

So why "Changes", a track from Bowie's 1971 Hunky Dory album?

"Musically, the chords and the melody suit the programming machine" for the bells, said Olseng.

"And it's a song that came out many years ago and which means something to a lot of people."

© 2016 AFP

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