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This sweet bell ringing

from Noisome Spirits [album] by John Harvey



The account is of an auditory apparition (or audition) with no visible agency or source. The sound of small bells, which could be heard only by one person, emanated from a specific location within a room. The ringing was notable not only as an inexplicable phenomenon but also for the timing of the occurrence: the precise anniversary of a child’s death in the same place two years previous. The sounds mimicking the ringing bells were manufactured from reiterated micro-samples of my articulation of the words ‘bell’ and ‘bells’.

Source Text
Many years ago, the Revd Mr T. Evans, the curate of Caerleon, writing below stairs at night, heard near the fire like the sound of sweet, small bells. He called Mrs Evans from bed to hear it. She came, but heard nothing. He called the maid, and she also heard nothing. Mrs Evans desired him to go to another room to see if he could hear it. He did, but could hear nothing. That time, two years hence, their child died in that room, and that part of the room where he heard this sweet bell ringing. Here it is plain that this was the agencies of some invisible beings or spirits who exactly knew the time of his child's death, so long before (to the farther conviction of Atheistical, Deistical men, and Sadduceistical principles, which have no foundation but the corrupt, perverse fancies of men).

Source Reference
'The Appearance of Evil', 97.


from Noisome Spirits [album], released July 15, 2021


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John Harvey Ceredigion, UK

I’m a practitioner and historian of sound art and visual art, and Emeritus Professor of Art at the School of Art, Aberystwyth University, UK. My research field is the sonic and visual culture of religion. I explore the sonic articulations of the Christian religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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