HAWKEYE VALLEY BELL PROJECT PATRICK HAZELL, BLUE RHYTHM RECORDINGS (2003) BRR33CD
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To listen to a six minute report on the Bell Project, broadcast on WIUM FM 91.3, MACOMB, ILLINOIS, click one of these choices:Real Player, MP3, Quicktime Audio
PATRICK HAZELL HOME PAGE, DISCOGRAPHY, REVIEWS OF OTHER RECORDINGS
BURLINGTON'S BELLS RING OUT ON NEW CD
By BOB SAAR for The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa 12-17-2003
The Hawkeye Valley Bell Project is the
creation of local musician Patrick Hazell, who composed the one-hour
piece for nearly a dozen bells at churches, the Arts for Living
Center and the fire station in downtown Burlington. The musical
work debuted on a chilly February night this year. Additional
rings were held on May 1, Aug. 1 and Nov. 1. The performance,
a first in America, required two people at each location - a captain
who rang the local bell, and a timer who followed a time chart
and instructed the captain when to ring.
The Bell Project CD is a clear digital recording of this year's August ring. It was captured on DAT by Tim Nicola in a backyard near Washington Street. It opens with ambient sound from the downtown area, including a dove hooting wistfully on the Snake Alley hill. The 32 "cuts" blend smoothly in line, giving the impression of one solid, 60-minute offering. This CD makes an excellent addition to any relocated Burlingtonian's collection. It is a warm background track that brings the feel of Burlington into any household, whether here in the valley or off in the concrete canyons of California or New York.
Of particular delight are the ambient sounds, especially the audio battle between a cardinal, a dove and a throttle-revving hotrod. While Hazell's bells clang merrily forth, the three non-bellular entities vie for center stage. Burlington's bells date back to the early 1800s and include masterpieces brought downriver on Twain-era paddlewheelers. Hazell measured the tones of each Burlington bell and subsequently composed the project to use each unique tone.
"There was no way to rehearse it," he said. "It's like putting ingredients in a soup ... you don't know what the final thing's going to taste like."
The Hawkeye Valley Bell Project CD is available downtown at Original Cyns, The Art Guild of Burlington Gift Store, Serendipity, Weird Harold's and Digger's Rest Coffee Shop. They also can be ordered by sending a $12 check or money order to Blue Rhythm Recordings, 220 East 17th St., Washington, Ia., 52353.
Hazell is working with Nadia Utkina and Sergey Kungurov on a June 12 bell performance in Russia as part of the Udmurt Republic's celebration of Independence from the Communist regime.