This Summer: New Sound Art by Stephen Vitiello

A bell in Herald Square recorded for A Bell for Every Minute, courtesy the artist and Creative Time

Details for a  major new art installation, going in on the High Line this summer, have been finalized.

Building on the success of  Spencer Finch’s installation in the Chelsea Market Passage, we’re once again partnering with public art superstars Creative Time and the public art wing of the Parks Department. This time, we commissioned a site-specific multi-channel sound piece from artist Stephen Vitiello, entitled A Bell for Every Minute. The piece will be installed in the 14th Street Passage, another semi-enclosed space where the High Line runs through a former industrial building.

To create the piece, Vitiello made sound recordings of bells from all over New York City and beyond. Sounds range from the iconic rings of the New York Stock Exchange bell, the historic Dreamland bell days after it was discovered in the water off Coney Island, the United Nation’s Peace Bell, and  more everyday and personal sounds of bike bells, diner bells, and neighborhood church bells.

During park hours an individual bell will ring each minute from speakers placed throughout the tunnel, the overtones fading out as the next bell begins. A chorus of the selected bells will play at the top of each hour, filling the space. The sources will be represented on a physical sound map that identifies the location of each bell, allowing the listener to follow the geographic journey of the recordings.

As a key figure in the worlds of sound art and experimental music, Vitiello has helped shape the field of sound in New York and globally. By exploring his native city through an auditory map in A Bell for Every Minute, Vitiello provides a unique take on the New York experience from both the communal and intensely personal perspectives that only sound can provide.

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