Art + Culture

Scenes from Make Music New York

Early morning (we’re talking 4:30 early) revelers on the morning of June 21st would have encountered an unusual sight in the Archway; composer, installation artist and percussionist Eli Keszler stringing massive lengths of piano wire to the Manhattan Bridge on preparation for his Make Music New York collaboration with esteemed percussion quartet So Percussion that evening. The name of the collaboration? The Archway of course…

The installation lasted throughout the day and was a performance in itself. Curious onlookers streamed through the Archway throughout the day, dancing through the piano wires that hung precariously. Flea Food came and went, people dining among the piano wires, Keszler and his support staff as they worked through the day – tuning as they toiled – preparing for their highly anticipated performance.

As the day wore on, sounds began emanating from the speakers: low growls and groans began to transform the Archway into a slightly more ominous space, a crowd began to gather. So Percussion began rehearsing, filling the Archway with their entrancing snare(and cymbal) beats.

By 6:30, the Archway was full and Keszler and So Percussion were seated in the middle of the Archway behind their drums in a straight line facing the audience. Soon the growls of the piano wire, the drum beats, and the occasional rumble of the subway overhead began playing off each other and the Archway to create a rich mix of sounds. The audience was captivated, it was a performance like no other.