As part of my artistic residency at ARC in Romainmôntier, Switzerland I am studying bells. Not only their sound and shape but also how they function as networked devices and the variety of communicative purposes they serve.
During my stay I visited the bell collection of Olivier Grandjean, in the Maison de la Cloche. Though his collection features bells from all over the world, Olivier focusses predominantly on the Swiss cow bell. This museum shows the breadth and richness of bell making in Switzerland and beyond.
Olivier’s interest lie specifically in the visual symbols which many feature on many of his bells. Imagery ranges from religious iconography, social-political events such as war and pictures of agricultural or daily life.
Olivier offers tours of the Maison de la Cloche for small groups by appointment, check out his website for more details.
For those interested in the sonic quality of Olivier’s collection feel free to listen to and/or download over 500 one-shot samples of this unique collection.
Here are some compositions I made with these bell recordings