In May of 2020, I moved into a house on a small dead end block of what is forever to be spoken on the phone as “C-R-U-F-as-in-Frank-T Street”. In the two years that have followed, I have found myself wondering about what it means to commit to a place, and to find one’s own place within a community and wider world. The biggest lesson by far has been to let go of the DIY-or-die ethos that seemed to have creeped into every aspect of my artistic life, and to learn the humility and freedom that comes from the knowledge that everything one does in public life is due in some part to the work of the people around you. Allowing myself to become part of something bigger than just me in my day-to-day life has helped me to learn, for probably the 500th time, that the world does not revolve around me, and that frustration in the face of artistic or creative challenges often arises when I have lost a step in terms of being mindfully grateful for the fact that these problems are even remotely important in my life to begin with.

Study in Place is my attempt to reflect on and explore my place in the universe, and to place a pin marking this time and space as home. These lofty ideas are manifested through a series of musical instruments that I hope inspire people to listen closely, and to explore their worlds for sounds after their initial experience with the show. Blending my desire to help people explore sound for no reason more than the beauty of it, and my experience working at the Rhythm Discovery Center for the last seven years, Study in Place functions as an exhibit built free from the restraints of things like learning objectives, or educational standards, with loose themes of friction, water, and relationships to musical information. The show’s crown jewel, or at least the part of the tour that makes me look very professional is a short film documenting my work with the Glass Harp, filmed and produced by Bruce Woodward of Deathwave TV.

The pieces you will see and hear in the show are listed below with relevant images. More info, along with audio and video recordings of each piece will be up on the Builds page in the coming days.

Gravity Harp

This instrument is played by dropping the red balls and letting them bounce repeatedly against dulcimer strings mounted on the instrument.

Automatic Wine Glass

This sculpture is meant to address the intersection of whimsy and laziness that is never having to play your own wineglass again.

Singing Plates

This instrument is played by pulling on the acrylic rods, which activate the metal plates and cause them to sing one of many notes that can emanate from a single plate.

Grand Organ

Despite its humble appearance, the Grand Organ is the nerve center of the entire exhibition, playing notes across a purpose-built speaker array that allows the player to quite literally play the room.

Music Box Library (Chromatic)

This library allows audience members to play up to two chromatic compositions as one time. The balance of this instrument is more delicate than its sibling.

Music Box Library (Diatonic)

This array of music boxes invites the audience to play collaborative compositions by playing up to seven melodies at once. The closed harmonies of this music box allow for many melodies to be played at once without things feeling too chaotic.

Glass Organ (After the Baschet Brothers)

Also known as a cristal baschet, this instrument is this first of its kind built in Indiana, and establishes some important design changes from the original instruments. It is played by sliding wet fingers along the glass rods, which excited the metal rods and creates pitches.

Cruft St Kalimbas/Octopi