Birrarung Marr Park
BIRRARUNG MARR PARK IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
This installation in Birrarung Marr Park, Melbourne is comprised of 39 upturned bells and was implemented in 2002. Promoted by residents and local authorities, it is a permanent installation, attracting residents as well as tourists .
The permanent sound art installation “The Federation Bells” is located in the heart of Birrarung Marr Park. The bells are installed on 2 – 5 m high pillars that are arranged in a grid over an area of approximately 0.04 hectares. The installation resembles a carillon, but it is scattered throughout a flat area instead of being hidden in a tower. The bells are played by computer-controlled hammers. On a daily basis (8am and 5pm), seven Australian composers’ bell sequences play, allowing guests to wander between the bells or sit close by and appreciate the installation from the park. These bells in the relatively calm riverbank park may often be heard within a radius of 100 meters. People may download bell sounds using a musical software and composers from all around the world are encouraged to create bell compositions and to upload them to the internet as MIDI files to be performed .
With the expansion of Buddhism from Northern India circa 600BC, the usage of big round-mouthed temple bells expanded across Asia. These bells developed into rather culturally unique shapes and sound in many areas of Asia and across the European continent. While there is evidence of similar influences in Asian bell traditions today, the European and Asian traditions have remained distinct for about a millennium .
This project seeks to bridge the gap between Asian and European traditions by reinventing the bell motive and use the most sophisticated technology and acoustic expertise accessible at the time. The aim was to create bells that are distinctly Australian and represent a culture where traditions coexist and blend. The sculpture was built at Birrarung Marr Park, Melbourne, to commemorate the centenary of Australia's federation in 2001 .
 FEDERATION BELLS. web.archive.org. Retrieved: 5th August 2022, from https://web.archive.org/web/20080719071125/http://www.ausbell.com/Federation%20Bells/FEDBELLS.html.
 Federation Bells. Whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au. Retrieved: 7th August 2022, from https://whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au/things-to-do/federation-bells.
 Federation Bells in Birrarung Marr, Melbourne. The MIDI Association. Retrieved: 7th August 2022, from https://www.midi.org/midi-articles/federation-bells-in-birrarung-marr-melbourne.
 Hear the Bells. Federationbells.com.au. Retrieved: 7th August 2022, from http://federationbells.com.au/hear-the-bells.
Entry submitted by: Xiaochao Chen