Sonic edge of town

Finding the edge of town

Finding the sonic edge of town

Finding the edge of the village according to the bells.

In the small village of Sainte Valiere, there are two town bells. Both sit perched on the edge of the square, opposite one another. Every hour, on the hour, bells ring to indicate the time. Then 2 minutes later, the bells chime a second time to mark the hour again.

I assumed the two bells each rang – slightly misaligned in their timing, but when I went to the town square to watch the bells chime, I learned that one bell sat still while the other rang twice every hour.

According to locals, this harks back to a time when workers in the field would listen for the bells announcing the end of a working day. Often deep in thought or concentration, a worker may often miss the first chime so the second chime indicated the hour again. The second chime – 2 minutes after the hour, also meant that workers toiled an extra 2 minutes each day.

The Sonic Edge of Town documents a walk to locate the edge of town, as defined by the absence of the sound of bells ringing.

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