Monday, July 5, 2010

3rd Ward: Of Resonance Chambers, Furry Musicians, and Lighthouse Ales

NY-based sculptor and multi-disciplinary artist Joshua Kirsch successfully transformed the lobby of Brooklyn design center 3rd Ward into a giant musical instrument for his Sympathetic Resonance event, and Fire Island Beer Co. was on hand to provide the brews. And resonate it certainly did.

The Resonance Machine (as I took to calling it after a beer or two) looked every bit as impressive as its name suggests. The ceiling and walls were covered in a succession of 56 wall-mounted “units” connected, by means of an elaborate and arcane pulley system, to a keyboard that anyone could play around with.

Joshua Kirsch explains his interactive sculpture to the crowd.

Of course, this machine was situated a little bit away from the bar, so I didn’t get a good look at it until a couple hours later, when the beer ran out. At that point, I also got to chat with Joshua Kirsch. In addition to being insanely talented, he’s also a very cool dude. As it turns out, Joshua blurs the lines between sculpture and engineering- Sympathetic Resonance isn’t just a sculpture, it’s an interactive musical instrument, a playable machine that makes music- art and performance art, merged into one.

Meanwhile, I was behind the bar hooking people up with bottles of Lighthouse Ale and Red Wagon IPA, soaking in the ambience and, of course, the sweat (that perennial summertime hazard). I felt a little isolated from the music, until around 9pm, when I suddenly noticed two very interesting characters standing in front of the bar. Words can’t really do them justice:

At first I was convinced it was some kind of strange trip brought about by a combination of beer and the sympathetic resonance machine. Then I learned it was just the Xylopholks. Playing the xylophone and the double bass on a sweltering summer day, while dressed in heavy, fur-covered costumes- now THAT’S commitment to one’s art! They play some great tunes too.

All in all, it was quite the party. A little different from anything we’ve attended before, but certainly the kind of different that one could easily get to enjoy. We’ll definitely be teaming up again with 3rd Ward soon- in a couple weeks, in fact, for their annual Pig Out! event. So if you’re in the Morgan Ave area on July 18th, come on down for some crazy times and some Fire Island Brews.

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