Barge Bells

I love finding surprises in my back yard (if you can call Brooklyn a backyard. I recently found myself wandering around Red Hook, Brooklyn, which is a chunk of land on the southwest side of Brooklyn that juts into the East River.  Over the last few decades Red Hook has changed from a rather tough industrial neighborhood to a bit of an artsy village.

Nestled away on a small dock with a great view of the Statue of Liberty is the Brooklyn Waterfront Museum.  The museum is actually a small shipping barge that used to move goods on the Hudson before bridges connected Manhattan to New Jersey and Brooklyn.  The barge that houses the museum was restored over a period of years and now houses all sorts of barge related history when the Hudson and East River were active shipping waterways. I got excited when I discovered the barge had many old nautical bells.  Bells that served as dinner bells, bells that alerted other boats in the area, and bells that were specifically used on tugboats.

This old dinner bell made quite a beautiful sound.  It was a rather windy day so unfortunately the ring out of the bell is overlapped by the barge rocking and creaking in the water.

Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5’s setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid. It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96.

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