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MEGA-ORGAN: the interactive improvisation space

A sonic and kinetic installation and improvisation environment of harmonica-playing inflatable sculptures

The Latest Update

Opening reception footage; concert on Wednesday!

Posted on April 3, 2017 by Sky Macklay
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Wow, over 200 people have visited MEGA-ORGAN so far!

Please join us this Wednesday, April 5th for the big finale: a concert featuring Peter Evans, Ingrid Laubrock, Travis Laplante, and Amirtha Kidambi improvising with MEGA-ORGAN!

The doors open at 7:00, the church is serving free dinner at 7:15, and the music begins at 8:00. I will leave the installation open for a while after the concert!

More Updates ▼

MEGA-ORGAN is up and ready to go!

Posted on March 25, 2017 by Sky Macklay
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MEGA-ORGAN is now installed in the Judson loft and ready for the opening on Sunday! Watch this promo video to see beautiful model Sam Pluta experiencing the installation. This is a sculpture that you can touch, squish, and sit/lay on, and your movements and body position effect the sound! 

MEGA-ORGAN dates and times

Posted on March 12, 2017 by Sky Macklay

Here are the dates and times for all the MEGA-ORGAN events! I hope to see you there! All events are free and held at the Judson Memorial Church Loft, 55 Washington Square S, New York.

OPENING RECEPTION:

Sunday, March 26, 2017
5:00pm 7:00pm

OPEN GALLERY HOURS:

Drop by any time during these open gallery hours to watch, listen, and interact with MEGA-ORGAN:

Monday 3/27, 11:00-3:30

Tuesday 3/28, 12:00-7:00

Wednesday 3/29, 12:00-7:00

Thursday 3/30, 12:00-7:00

Friday 3/31, 12:00-7:00

Sunday 4/2, 12:00-2:00

Monday 4/3, 11:00-3:30

Tuesday 4/4, 12:00-7:00

Wednesday 4/5, 12:00-4:00

CONCERT:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 8:00 to 10:00

Hear improvisers Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Peter Evans (trumpet), Amirtha Kidambi (voice), and Travis Laplante (sax) play with MEGA-ORGAN in an evening of unpredictable sonic splendor.

Part of the Judson Bailout series http://classic.judson.org/bailouttheater

Doors at 7:00, free dinner at 7:15, music at 8:00!

Overview

Imagine what it would sound like to be surrounded by seventy gigantic-mouthed harmonica players who could each play ten notes at once without ever needing to breathe. This is the core sonic image that grew into a series of interactive harmonica-playing inflatable sculpture installations: first Harmonibots and now MEGA-ORGAN.

MEGA-ORGAN will be both a piece of installation art and an environment for improvisation. During March 2017, MEGA-ORGAN will transform the loft of Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village into an ensconcing, living, breathing instrument. Judson has a pipe organ that sadly no longer functions. MEGA-ORGAN will resonify the organ using inflatable sculptures built from flexible plastic and joined with the organ pipes and walls. The sculptures will have dozens of harmonicas and other free-reeds affixed inside their air-escape points. High-power fans will animate the sculptures and excite the reeds, creating rich, organ-like, droney walls of sound. The fans will be controlled by a combination of motion sensors and physical switches that react when viewers/listeners enter the space. The color and geometrical schemes will draw inspiration from the architecture and iconography of the church.

My collaborators and I will document and enhance the installation by creating an album comprised of solo improvisers playing with MEGA-ORGAN. Improvisors Sam Pluta (electronics), Peter Evans (trumpet), Amirtha Kidambi (voice), Travis Laplante (saxophone), and Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone) will each engage musically with the installation and contribute a track for the album.

Hundreds of people visit Judson Memorial Church every week and everyone who enters this multisensory piece will engage in an act of improvisation. Visitors sculpt their own listening experiences by taking different paths through the installation and collaborating with others in the space to trigger changes in the sonic fabric. Judson Memorial Church is an historic space for dance, theatre, and art, and at the same time a hub for human services and social justice outreach. Situating Resurgence in this multipurpose, high-traffic space means that many people from outside the typical new music audience will experience the piece. Through the installation and the album together, this piece will reach both people in the church’s neighborhood and far-flung followers of the improvising artists.

Project Media

Harmonibots
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Features: Sky Macklay

Harmonibots is an installation that I made in January, 2015 in Waseca, MN. MEGA-ORGAN will use similar sound production principles. The Harmonibots video shows how my work engages visitors in a joyful multisensory listening experience.

Sam Pluta and Peter Evans Improvisation
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Features: Peter Evans, Sam Pluta

This piece showcases improvisors Sam Pluta and Peter Evans. It was recorded live at Roulette in November, 2014.

For Eric Garner
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Features: Amirtha Kidambi

This piece features Amirtha Kidambi’s unique vocal improvisation. Here she performs with her trio at First Banana in Philadelphia.

Start and End Dates

03/26/201704/05/2017

Location

New York, New York

3 updates
Last update on April 3, 2017

Project Created By

New York, New York
The music of composer, oboist, and installation artist Sky Macklay (b. 1988) explores bold contrasts, audible processes, humor, and the physicality of sound. Her works have been performed by ensembles such as ICE, Yarn/Wire, Wet Ink Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Dal Niente, and The Da Capo Chamber Players. Her piece for the Lexington Symphony was the…

In Collaboration With

improviser
Queens, New York
improviser
Queens, New York
improviser
BROOKLYN, New York
improviser and recording engineer
New York, New York
improviser
Brooklyn, New York

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