STEPHEN VITIELLO’S HIGH LINE EXHIBIT IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

March 25 2010

Ever since the June opening of the first phase of the High Line — that $170 million park being built on the abandoned rail structure that passes over 22 blocks on the West Side of Manhattan — this urban refuge has attracted thousands of visitors taking in the city’s sights. Few, however, focus on its sounds.

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Ringing In Summer

Ever since the June opening of the first phase of the High Line — that $170 million park being built on the abandoned rail structure that passes over 22 blocks on the West Side of Manhattan — this urban refuge has attracted thousands of visitors taking in the city’s sights. Few, however, focus on its sounds.

But starting on June 23, “A Bell for Every Minute,” a site-specific installation by the musician and sound artist Stephen Vitiello, will give strollers an urban concert of sorts. Tucked in a semi-enclosed tunnel between West 13th and West 14th Streets will be a sound installation made from different kinds of bells. Mr. Vitiello recorded church bells and cat bells, bells on bicycles, those coming from carousels and those played in yoga studios.

There are the sounds of more famous bells too, like the opening one of the New York Stock Exchange and the United Nations Japanese Peace Bell, as well as the old Dreamland Pier bell days after it was recovered last year from the ocean off Coney Island, where it had been lost in a fire in 1911.

During park hours, individual bells will ring each minute from speakers throughout the tunnel, and a chorus of them will sound in unison at the top of each hour.

This is the second site-specific project commissioned by the High Line together with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and organized by Creative Time, the nonprofit organization that presents art around the city. The first project is the work of the Brooklyn artist Spencer Finch, whose photographs from a trip along the Hudson River are sandwiched between glass and mounted between the steel mullions of a former loading dock between West 15th and 16th Streets.


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