Despite a grand finale of rain, the 2016 Music is Art festival was a grand success. Each year, I come away with one or two of my favorite takeaways from the show. This year, I seriously dug Infringement Valley, where a number of interactive Infringement Festival artists set up in a little valley that led to the Ivy Bridge Stage (also very cool). The artists were all under orchestration by Chief Infringers Dave Adamcyzk and Curt Rotterdam, who did a smashing job of pulling everything together.
There were two exhibits that I was absolutely fascinated with, both showcasing the brilliant minds of super artistic Buffalonians, who also had an ear for interactive sound devices.
The first was the 432 Hz Sound Meditation Experience by Peter Cohen. The meditation experience allowed festival-goers to actually play a larger than life instrument that would translate the notes to video images.
The second interactive sound installation was a bit more simple, but just as captivating in its own way. Ethan Axelrod’s ‘Gongeranium’ was a wall of pots, pans, gongs, and other clanging objects (see photo). Participants (typically children) would throw balls of different sizes and weights at the hanging screen, hoping to hit thingamabobs that would produce all sorts of interesting sounds. Just like Cohen’s meditation experience, Axelrod’s Gongeranium was a big hit with passersby.
To me, these two interactive art and sound installations represented the best of Music is Art (MiA). Typically we recognize MiA for its bands, the deejays, the colorful graffiti artwork, and the performers/dancers. To me, Infringement Valley is a perfect fit with the rest of the MiA array of artists. Sometimes we tend to think of music and art in different categories. One of MiA’s original missions was to blur the lines between music and art, to show that music is an art form. These Infringers did a great job of holding true to that mission. Hopefully we see a lot more from these two unique musical artists, outside of Infringement and MiA.