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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

December 10, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Sound of bells missing from Seattle buildings

bells120909m.jpg
Dec. 9, 12:35 p.m. [Click on sketches to view larger]
stspiridon.jpgJohn Cox makes a living driving a Sounder train, paints Russian icons in his spare time and knows quite a bit about one of our most beloved instruments this time of year: bells. As a bellringer at St. Spiridon Cathedral in the Cascade neighborhood, he rings them several times a week. “The sound of bells can bring out all kinds of emotions. It brings out happy emotions for me,” he said. “It can also evoke solemn feelings of loss.”
Cox would like to hear more bells ringing from churches and civic buildings in Seattle. “I thought it would be nice to have a set of bells in the King Street Station clock tower, especially since the tower itself is designed to resemble a bell tower in Italy,” he said. “We don’t have any bells in downtown Seattle. The closest are at St. James Cathedral, but the noise from the freeway cuts down the sound.”
The bells at St. Spiridon came from Russia, but he knows how he could make one right here. “One of my fantasies is to buy the Lenin statue in Fremont and melt it into a big bell,” he said.
Listen to Cox ring the bells here and here.

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