Paul Ramírez Jonas
Artist in the Public Realm

The Missing Note (China), 2006



MATERIALS:  Automated bells, one hand bell, and musical score.

    A series of hand bells hangs in the space forming a line. The line forms a song. Computer controlled mechanical hammers strike each bell in succession. However, one of the notes/bell in the melody is missing. On the floor, the public encounters the missing bell/note on a pedestal. Anyone is free to ring it, and fill the gap.

    This version of the piece plays The East is Red. This song replaced the national anthem of China during the Cultural Revolution. It no longer serves in any official capacity; but due to its insistent use during this period in Chinese history, everybody in China knows the melody.