Early on in the project I wanted to make a structure to house the bells which would be approachable, in some way familiar, so that people would automatically feel comfortable with engaging with it. In my mind I had a greenhouse structure envisioned as it seemed a place where people go to nurture plants and to some extent, themselves. I wanted people to be able to go inside it to hear the sounds from all sides, to be encapsulated in it. Really this is where the title for the piece came from. “BellHouse”; something that gave an impression of a domestic context, a place to feel safe to relax explore and explore.
I decided on laminated birch plywood as the material to use for the building. I had thought about a range of materials, including steel and a variety of timbers, but decided that a metal structure would probably resonate, making its own sound and that the various wood I could have used were too expensive and aesthetically not appropriate. I like the way the ply was visually relatively unobtrusive but has a lovely texture in the layers.
I was able to leave most of the actual making of this to the carpenter, Agim. I would also like to mention Matt LeBreton, who came in at the last minute, to help complete the structure and work out a really good solution for accurately drilling all the holes that supported the shelves.