Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chiming Fountain

A low-quality video clip of Portland's Chiming Fountain, in lower Washington Park near Reservoir 3. I say "low quality" mostly because it's filmed sideways. My little digital camera at the time was happy to recognize that the camera was rotated for still photos, but not so much for videos. Camera makers, and YouTube for that matter, still tend to assume that all video is in landscape format, even though there's no longer any technical reason for that to be the case. YouTube supposedly has a function to rotate videos -- so instead of a rotated video I'd have a tiny right-side-up video with big black vertical bars on either side. In short, I blame society for this video's shortcomings.

washington park

Fortunately I had a few photos of the fountain lying around, and you don't have to wrench your neck or rotate your monitor or or anything to look at them, so I've included them too.


The important thing about this video is the audio track, where you can sort of make out the chiming sounds that give the fountain its name. It's nice and pleasant and would be even nicer without all the traffic a few feet away. Traffic was obviously not in the original Victorian-era plan, and with it you don't notice the chiming until you're up close to the fountain, and even then you may not realize that it's the whole point behind the fountain. And if you don't realize it's supposed to drip gently and make pleasant metallic sounds, you might just think it's a plain old fountain with a faulty pump or something, which it's not.

The link I provided above mentions that the fountain was originally painted white, and had a figure of a boy on top with a staff that sprayed water. Elsewhere I've seen the figure described as a Cupid or a cherub of some sort. He vanished mysteriously some time after 1912. Possibly the good taste police came by and removed him, on the principle that everything is better without cherubs.

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