Artist Stephen Vitiello presents a multi-channel sound installation titled A Bell for Every Minute for which he has recorded bells all over New York City and beyond. Sounds range from the iconic rings of the New York Stock Exchange bell, the historic Dreamland bell (recorded 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 rings each minute from speakers placed throughout the 14th Street Passage; the overtones fading out as the next bell begins. A chorus of the selected bells plays at the top of each hour, filling the space. The sounds are represented on a physical sound map that identifies the location of each bell, allowing the listener to follow the geographic journey of the recordings. Collectively, the bells are a microcosm of the urban landscape as they relate to the sounds captured throughout the daily life in New York City. The site becomes activated by the composition, inviting the passerby to engage with the High Line and its connection to the city around it.
(1,4) Photo by Jason Mandella; (2,3) Photo courtesy Friends of the High Line.