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Roxanne Nesbitt
Silent Bells

February 2017


Each of these bells fits in a hand. Each of these bells was shaped by a hand. How far
could they be thrown? Could they break a window or be useful to an angry mob?

Will they ring when the earth opens to swallow its own skin?
Will it recognize the stone, steel and plastic we have carved in its image as idols?
Will it recognize the cities that have spread like cancer?
May I have a moment to compare my acne cheeks to maps and plagues?

Are these bells for ease or for dis-ease?

How can I make silent bells in a peaceful studio when immigrants are banned in
America? When every Allepo is another and they are endless? When everyday the
loudest voices are more and more proud of their own sickness, congratulating
themselves on drowning out the sounds of their own gentle human hum.

Please take these bells from me.
They should not be beautiful and silent.
They should not be naive and acoustic experiments.
The time for questions of timbre and tuning has passed.

Please take these bells and ring them.
They should be ringing at high alarm - the level of hate in the air is too high -
we should be alarmed
and do something other than calmly breathing it in.

They are for you.

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Family of ceramic percussion instruments originally created to be played by musicians and dancers.
Ongoing collaboration - Mutual Instruments for Movement and Sound - with Ben Brown.

Photos Sara Valcárcel