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Sights and sounds collide noisily at Science Museum Oklahoma's 'Soundscapes'

The new “Soundscapes” exhibit, which explores the relationship between the visual and aural realms of art and science, opens in the Satellite Galleries at Science Museum Oklahoma with a free public reception Saturday night.
by Brandy McDonnell Modified: February 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm •  Published: February 8, 2013

Since the exhibit is showing indoors instead of in the Oklahoma wind, her rust-color sheet metal pieces, collectively titled “A Snake in the Grass Is Better Than Two in the Bush,” shake and rattle when someone depresses foot pedals.

She said metal can be cold and harsh, so she used natural elements and soft curves.

Christie Owen said her husband, Mark Owen, a drummer, inspired her to make her “Soundscapes” sculpture titled “Tympanum,” which is Latin for “drums.” Her husband and fellow drummer Lance Pelligrini, both formerly of the band Gravity Propulsion System, will play her drums, which are triangular, at Saturday's opening.

“It's an exploration of percussion as sculpture,” Owen said, taking up sticks and demonstrating. “Most drums are round, so it was an experiment to see what happens to the sound when it's not in a round chamber. ... Basically, it still resonates in the chamber, it's just that it doesn't resonate evenly. It bounces off the angles.”

There also will be a performance aspect to “Contextual Relations,” a work that visual artists Jerrod Smith and Phillip Danner are creating with musicians Christopher Clark and Dustin Ragland.

The audio visualizers that generate colorful imagery based on music. The artists plan to set up a microphone where museum visitors can sing, clap or talk to make the projection change.

“The ultimate goal is to just create a feeling, so you walk up, and it's ‘Wow this is beautiful,' or you know, is whatever. ‘This is ambient,' ‘This is annoying,' ‘This is vibrant,'” Smith said. “It's kind of appealing just to try these things.”

“Soundscapes” also will feature a community art piece in the form of a junky old piano Henderson found online. Periodically during the hands-on exhibit's run, including at Saturday's reception, visitors will be invited to use power tools, paints and their hands to transform the piano into artwork.

“People will be able to come in and paint on it, draw on it, build on it, carve on it and just kind of make it into its own sculptural piece,” Henderson said. “It's going to transform through the show through audience interaction.”

by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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