You can do it alone, but it's a bit more magical to do it with a friend. If by yourself, walk into the Hood Downtown on South Main Street in Hanover NH. Find the old player piano roll that hangs from ceiling to floor. Place one finger on the copper strip that runs its length and another finger on any of the silver foil notations. Just like a player piano, you'll activate the scroll, and voila, music.
Maia Rauschenberg and Zack Urgese, (featured photo, above), visiting from Gorham NH, are making this a team sport. One touches the copper, the other the silver, and then, the fingers of their free hands meet. Try it and see what happens. It's your opportunity to be a part of artist Jess Rowland's installation, The Other Side of Air, one of 8 exhibitions that comprise Resonant Spaces: Sound Art at Dartmouth.
Black Beethoven by Terry Adkins
Rowland is sharing the gallery space with the works of Terry Adkins. Adkins, who died in 2014, was a sculptor, musician, and sound artist. Part of his exhibition at the Hood Downtown includes the use of musical instruments that suggest sound but are silent. Black Beethoven (above) morphs from an older, white man into a younger, black man and back again, raising the question of the composer's ancestry. Pop on some headphones to hear Martin Luther King's speech, Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam, while Jimi Hendrix plays "Machine Gun." It's a natural pairing.
Tambour, "ghostly and veiled, even bridal," is one of the works by Terry Adkins
A map will guide you to the 6 other installations across the town and campus. (I recommend fortifying yourself with a cider donut from Lou's Restaurant, still warm and for sale a half-block away on Main Street's sidewalk.) Jacob Kirkegaard's Transmission is in the atrium of the Fairfield Physical Sciences Center; apart from this exhibition, Fairfield has the added visual bonus of a Foucault's pendulum akin to the one in Paris's Pantheon. Julianne Swartz's installation is physically the tiniest; it will take you to the Sherman Art Library, which is incomparably beautiful in that old-fashioned, polished wood, heaps of history sort of way.
The Sherman Art Library, tucked just behind the circulation desk of the Baker-Berry Library.
The Hood Downtown is open Wednesday through Sunday; days and hours of other locations may vary. Best to start with a map available at the gallery or one online. A walking tour of all of the installations is planned for Friday, September 22, leaving from the Hood Downtown at 3:30 p.m. For a fuller preview of this show, please click here.
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Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge