I’m reminded by the cooling temperatures and breezy days we experience this time of year, why Fall is a special time in Michiana. The brightening leaves raise our glance upward, and even as flowers remain in bloom on shrubs beneath, it’s the trees that garner our attention. One, a large oak tree towering above the Elkhart Rotary Centennial and bronze Rotary medallion proudly embedded on our Promenade, bears special responsibility. Suspended from a mighty branch 25 feet above the ground, the oak displays a gigantic wind chime, 14-feet in height from its point of attachment to the large ‘sail’ catching the wind beneath and weighing over 200 pounds. It’s called the Quartal Basso Profundo, the largest of a melodic line of chimes handcrafted by Music of the Spheres, Inc. located in Austin, Texas.
The magnificent wind chime is a gift from Lois Leib, in loving memory of her late husband, Richard, who passed in 2016. The Leibs have been supportive Members of Wellfield since 2012, joining shortly after memberships first became available in 2011. They walked the Promenade frequently. I recall speaking with Lois about a possible gift in memory of Richard in 2016. She’d hoped it could be a piece of ‘art’ but did not have anything specific in mind; she asked that I speak with staff about possibilities. Josh Steffen, Horticulture and Facilities Manager, had just the answer: “A huge wind chime!” He’d been inspired by the oak’s large, beckoning branch and had envisioned a magnificent chime suspended beneath it. Returning to conversation with Lois, she mentioned that while she and her husband loved the natural sounds of the flowing waters, birds, and rustling leaves of Wellfield, she “always felt there could be more music.” The wind chime idea was a hit.
Installed in 2017 with a power lift and the sweat of staff and volunteers, the chime remains not only a lasting symbol in memory of Richard, but that of generosity, beauty, and a gift of music. A bronze plaque on an adjacent stone recognizing the gift reads:
Quartal Basso Profundo
A Gift in Loving Memory of Richard Leib
From Lois Leib
We welcome everyone to visit the Garden and hear the music of Wellfield.
See you in the Gardens,
Robert and Peggy Weed Executive Director
3 thoughts on “The Gift of Music”
I absolutely Love that wind chime! I was so taken by it the first time I saw it at Wellfield. It is a beautiful addition to a beautiful place. Thank you, Mrs. Leib, for this wonderful tribute to your husband! It adds so much to the peaceful surroundings.
What an excellent gift!
Many years ago, an artist constructed a ‘wave organ’ or something like that, which enhanced and amplified the sound of the waves of the San Francisco Bay through a series of pipes. It is about as random as a wind chime. Since then, others have been constructed in other areas around the San Francisco Bay, and in other bays where there are enough waves. In Colma, another artist constructed a gigantic Wind Harp.
My colleague in Southern California is a proponent for stimuli beyond the visual for landscapes. For example, he likes the motion of the long leaves of pampas grass. Floral fragrance is of course very important. Sound is one that is often neglected.
Thanks, Tony – we really appreciate the comment of “motion of the long leaves..”, something often overlooked – – the natural habit and behaviors of carefully selected species/cultivars for those purposes. 🙂