Art + Culture

Manhattan Bridge as Musical Sculpture

To kickoff the start of summer, Make Music New York (MMNY) transforms the city’s streets, parks and sidewalks into a collective jamboree to both celebrate New York’s musicians and inspire new ones. With over 1,000 free concerts across the five boroughs, you will be hard-pressed not to hear some live music in some form on June 21.

DUMBO will play host to one of the key events of MMNY, a musical sculpture sounded by robotic arms and accompanied by accomplished percussionist Eli Keszler and the So Percussion group. For one day only, Keszler will suspend tuned lengths of piano strings, some up to 400 feet long, from the top of the Manhanttan Bridge down to the street level, creating not only a unique musical sculpture, but an impressive architectural feat that will add to the landscape. Other strings will suspend from street lights near the Pearl Street Triangle and will be bolstered by contact-mics hooked up to a PA system. “I like to work with raw material, simple sounds, primitive or very old sounds; sounds that don’t get dated in any way,” said Keszler in a recent NPR All Songs Considered interview. He also notes that the piece creates a visual aspect which relates directly to the music without having to use projections or other electronics.

Microprocessor-controlled arms will produce a spacious, harp-like drone from the piano strings, while Keszler grounds the soundscape with a percussion performance starting at 4PM. At 6:30PM, the piece will evolve to include a full percussion ensemble with the addition of So Percussion, who’s career highlights include 13 albums and several world tours.

This will be a concert like no other so, don’t miss it!