toll free

Churchbells are a thing I cannot say I miss much (especially when the bobbin knocks the bell), today it occured to me that’s a sound that’s not around… Backflash: our first flat in Hallein was on the top floor of a building that was less than 100m away from the local church, it’s massive bells not much higher than our windows were, gloriously smashing soundwaves into ourbedroom and livingroom: from 6am to 10pm they would go off eery  5mins, when there was a mass (3x a week) and on religous festivals (every other week) it would brawl on for minutes on end.

The distinct and at least potentially annoying sound is such a big thing over there, that every day at noon – in addition to every churchbell going off across the whole country – the regional public radio broadcasts tolling bells from one place or another, a cultural asset as it seems.


tower of noise, Hallein

Here churches don’t communicate with unavoidable noise but instead with posters, large banners and ads on tv-screens in shops. Not that I will make a big attempt to get the gist of it, but the amount of different churches here is a conundrum. Coming from a place where church per definition is roman catholic church the seperations from a protestant base are too entangling.

Looking back, if anything I associate the sound of ringing churchbells with sitting down for a meal, as when I was a kid lunch would be served at or around 12 midday, when the radio and the nearby chapel would lock into a 30sec cacophony of non-rhythmic dingdong.

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