In this second of four discs Feld will be producing on the social and musical roles that bells play in cultures worldwide, the central theme is bells in European cities. Released on his own new label VoxLox, in collaboration with EarthEar, this volume turns an ear toward the ways that bells serve both the powers of authority (church and state), and disruption (festivals and protest).
The disc begins in Tuku, Finland, with two chruch bell tracks. The first offers a delightful sense of space, as cathedral bells fill a town square and share acoustic space with a flock of chaffinches. The second features a master bell-ringer at work with three bells in a church tower, then moves inside to where a choir is accompanied by hand bells. Next, in Oslo, we hear cathedral bells sharing the public space with a community marathon, brass band, DJ, and a hot air balloon.
The final three tracks present various festivals and celebrations. A May Day celebration (international worker's day) is marked by a solitary man ringing a handbell and the singing of the anthem The Internationale; an Italian festival finds shepherds herding throngs of costumed bell-ringers through streets and around strolling musicians; and in Greece, men dress in costumes that include 60 pounds of bells, creating quite a sonic riot as they cruise the streets and taverns.
By focusing in on such a historically dominant soundmark as bells, and exploring deeply into the social importance and sonic roles they play, Feld is creating a remarkable series that reflects the heart of acoustic ecology, spun within a musically creative curiosity.
AUDIO SAMPLES >
Oslo Cathedral, Norway
Oslo May Day