Modern Chimes

Modern Chimes (Detail)

Modern Chimes is a wind to sound experience installation.

A wind chime is fascinating: moved by wind events, small sound tubes suspended in a circle around a solid block are beaten against this block by wind and thus produce collision sounds. A wide variety of variants are available on the market, they differ in the functional structure, in size, number and material used. Only one thing is common to all: the sound spectrum is also designed by the builder and is an integral part of the wind chime. I wanted to change that and transfer it to the modern age.  I wanted to create a wind chime that allows the user to link any sound events to the wind chime. That’s why I set out to develop (free after Charles Chaplin’s “Modern Times”) the artwork Modern Chimes.

The development work is described in more detail here

Modern Chimes consists of a few functional units:

  • A freely hanging electronic wind chime made of plexiglass, 8 Plexiglas tubes with embedded motion sensors without any sound.
  • A radio transmitting unit integrated in the wind chime for transmittion signals to the receiving station.
  • A wireless receiver unit with connected music sampler.


Here’s a video of the first public showing of the first version of Modern Chime as a wedding present in a friend’s wide garden.

In the (not visible) house with receiver and loudspeakers, I change the CF Cards (described below) again and again to load other sound scenarios.

Here are the components:

The wireless receiver unit (white box) with music sampler (Roland SP-404) for connection to the stereo amplifier and loudspeakers. Memory cards with sound scenarios

Modern Chimes (Sampler Unit)

Here is the main unit, the actual wind chime. It hangs on a chain of neodymium magnets for free rotation. You can see the battery compartment and the black controller for the sensitivity setting. To the right, the red on/off switch. The 8 Plexiglass rods are connected to the 3D-printed housing via motion sensors.

Modern Chimes (Chimes Unit)
Modern Chimes (Chimes Unit)
Modern Chimes (Chimes Unit)
Modern Chimes (Detail)
Modern Chimes (Detail)

Technical Data:

Weight: Wind Chime 1kg, Music Sampler 1kg
Size: Wind Chime 45cm (height) 11.5cm (diameter)
Power supply: 4x AA Mignon batteries, on/off, LED for on/off, approx. 12 hrs playing time
Sensors: 8 bending sensors on Plexiglas square rods, sensitivity adjustable
Material: Plexiglas, ABS (3D printed case), electronics
Suspension: freely rotatable by neodymium magnets
Radio connection: Zigbee standard 2.4GHz, approx. 1km range in open space

Each of the Modern Chimes is unique.

The artwork consists of:

  • Wind chime
  • Radio reception unit
  • Sampler with 6 music scenarios on interchangeable flash cards
  • battery set

Modern Chimes
Plexiglas, electronics, sensors, Sampler, 3D-Print
Size of the Chimes: (WHD):
11,5cm x 45cm x 11,5cm
Weight with receiver:
3 kg
Creation: 2013
Edition: 2+2ea (each is unique)

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