Trimpin Sound Arch – Ojai, California - Atlas Obscura

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Trimpin Sound Arch

Make sweet music as you walk through this interactive sonic sculpture. 


Hidden in plain sight, this unusual piece of acoustic art is the work of the German kinetic sound sculptor Trimpin, born Gerhard Trimpin, who created it in 2011 for the Libbey Bowl renovation. Tucked away next to the tennis courts and the amphitheater, the 12-foot arch made of reclaimed metal pipes makes hauntingly beautiful music.

When you walk through the arch, a pre-composed melody plays, sounding much like wind chimes or a giant xylophone. The individual compositions vary, meaning that each individual visitor will have their own experience. The arch plays a key role in the Ojai Music Festival.

Trimpin has had a particularly lauded career, picking up a MacArthur “Genius” Award, among other accolades over his decades working out of the Pacific Northwest. Yet while sculptures such as If VI Was IX: Roots and Branches, which contains more than 700 self-playing instruments, are considered treasures, not all of the local residents in Ojai are thrilled about the proximity of his work. Shortly after the piece was unveiled, some residents complained about it “clanging away” and said, “That thing is still annoying.” 


Know Before You Go

The arch is free to visit and open to the public.

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April 12, 2023

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