City Cow Bell is a surround sound multimedia creation by Robert Torche and Serge Vuille, with cello from Mathilde Raemy, aiming to bring together city and countryside through the sound of their bells and the traditions around them. The performance combines video, live music, and documentary recording to offer the audience a sensory experience.

28 – 29th October 2016 – Collégiale de Moutier, Switzerland

4th November 2016 – Swiss Church, London, UK

1st July 2017 – Art Night, St Botolph without Aldgate, London, UK

First Residency : London

For this first stage creation, Artists Robert Torche and Serge Vuille met up in London from 29th of March until 3rd April 2016. During this time they exchanged their creative ideas, and began to record bell sounds from different buildings in the city. They managed to get in St Paul’s Cathedral and in the Whitechapel Foundry.

Second residency : Jura Bernois

After their first residency in London, Serge Vuille and Robert Torche have explored the countryside of the Jura Bernois and have met Elie Grosjean who is a local farmer.
They have recorded sounds from bells that are worn by animals – mainly cows but also horses.

This was also an opportunity to learn more about the region and the farmer profession, as well as about the history behind the use of bells in the village of Saules.

Third Residency : Jura

Robert Torche and Serge Vuille went to the Morteau Bell Foundry, in the French Jura Moutain to record some more bell sounds to be included in City Cow Bell. Joined by Alain Tissot, they also interviewed Olivier Jordi who is the bell ringer in Vauffelin (Switzerland).

Meeting Oliver Jordi was a deep experience and both of the composers were moved by the fact that the future of this passion is quite uncertain. Indeed this job tends to disappear and to be done automatically instead. The believers still love when the job is done by a passionate bell ringer though.