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 on viewing the bells I learned that one bell sat still while the other rang out twice every hour.

According to locals, this harks back to the time when workers in the field would listen for the bells to know when to finish working for the 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 absence of the sound of bells ringing.

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