Opening Wed, June 23, 6:30–8:30PM
Talk by the artist, 7:30–8:30PM

Stephen Vitiello’'s new multi-channel sound installation A Bell For Every Minute is a site-specific work commissioned for the High Line. The piece will fill the 14th Street Passage, a semi-enclosed tunnel between West 13th and West 14th Streets, with sound recordings of bells taken 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. Bells are used in our culture to mark the passing of time, act as warnings and alerts, mark celebrations, and memorialize those lost. While there are numerous conditions under which bells are heard in our city, they are universal sounds that all of us can appreciate as part of the auditory landscape of our lives.

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 sounds 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. 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, much like a bell tower, becomes activated by the composition, inviting the passerby to engage with the High Line and its connection to the city around it.

Sound has the ability to shape our perception of physical space, and our navigation of the environment around us. As a key figure in the worlds of sound art and experimental music, Vitiello'’s work 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.

A Bell for Every Minute was curated by Meredith Johnson of Creative Time. Architectural work and sound map design by Kristen Becker of Mutuus Studio and sound programming by Bob Bielecki.