City Song


Artist(s): Susan Kneeland
Sponsor(s): Team Haverhill and Pentucket Bank

This sculpture was installed in Spring 2017, as part of the Art Walk at the Bradford Rail Trail.

Statement from the Artist:

The vision of the artist, Susan Chapman-Kneeland, is that of persons walking down the trail hearing chimes in the distance. As they become closer to the musical sound the vision of the sculpture comes into sight. If they so choose, they may pick up a stick and strike the dangling railroad spikes making their own musical sounds. If a person is jogging, or otherwise busy, they may continue to pass along, hearing the musical notes. The sculpture will serve to invoke a meditative feeling. A bench will be located across from the structure, upon which to rest and simply sit allowing the enjoyment of the musical intonations caused by the wind as the passerby is able to look across the river at the beautiful city of Haverhill, MA.

The concept;

  • The supportive I-beam is representational of the under-structure of the buildings in the city.
  • The same metal fixtures that secure the railroad track to the ground secure the sculpture.
  • The spiraling helix is both representational of a railroad track, and the helix of the DNA of mankind, those responsible for building railroads and cities.
  • The dangling chimes subsist to represent the advancement of humankind through culture, as well as reminding and representing the forcefulness of railroad spikes, likened to the tethering of humanity to a city.
  • The chimes are invitational in two ways. One is that they are audible from a distance by movement caused by the wind; the other is by the ability to strike them with an object, or touch them with your hand, in order to interact with the sculpture.
  • Across the top of the I-beam is an iron cutout of a cityscape.
  • All of the materials are both sustainable by the elements of a New England climate, as well as the curious nature and provocation of the variety of people who may be using the trail.


Bradford Rail Trail (Corner or South Main St. and Middlesex St.)
Get directions to this location