Sounds of places//chimes

Commissioned by Wonder Cabinet.

“Yara Asmar introduces wind chimes into Cremisan Valley. The work features a nest swing skirted by gigantic steel chimes that can be activated naturally or intentionally. The chimes can be played by the wind, people using bars, or people sitting in and moving the nest swing. While the chimes will interact with the natural soundscape of the valley, made of steel, they will also seem jarring and out of place, suggesting construction work. Although pre-tuned, mirroring a preordained reality on the ground, the chimes hold creative potential. People can generate new sounds by swinging together, orchestrating a new collective scape. Similarly, the chimes pave a way for the artist to be present in spirit, like a ghost, in landscapes that her body is barred from visiting, for the time being.”

“Sounds of Places” is an annual residency-based sound gathering that focuses on the sonic aesthetics of place. The first edition will take place from May 24 to June 2, 2024 in the Cremisan valley, one of the last green spaces around the city of Bethlehem in Palestine. The residency involves sonic artists, artisans, designers, visual artists, and the nuns at the Cremisan monastery during the entire period. Three sound sculptures will be placed in the landscape. Whether activated by wind, rain, humidity, dew, sun, or by the active participation of visitors, or by blending composed sonic pieces with live sounds from the landscape, the three installations resonate with the valley and with each other. Together, they create a repository of sounds that potentially speaks to the spirits of other environments, landscapes, both close by and on the other side of the world. 

“Sounds of Places” seeks to create sonic analogies beyond the spatial limit every sound emerges from. In that sense, it builds upon and expands existing strategies to reclaim our ever-renewed sense of belonging.”