July 12, 2013
Emerson Brown, NPR
NPR MUSIC DEBUTS 'ARCHWAY':
COMMISSIONED WORK BY ELI KESZLER & SO PERCUSSION
USES THE MANHATTAN BRIDGE AS AN INSTRUMENT
THE SPECIAL NPR MUSIC "FIELD RECORDING"
IS AVAILABLE NOW AT NPR.ORG/MUSIC
Keszler turned the Manhattan Bridge underpass into a playable instrument by stretching about 2000 feet of tuned piano wires across the DUMBO Archway. He and the four members of So Percussion - Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting - took to the pedestrian area under the bridge to perform their collaborative composition, which layered Keszler's system of motorized beaters that sounded the piano wires with snare drums and bowed and struck small cymbals called crotales. In his review for The New York Times, critic Steve Smith hailed the Archway premiere as a "haunting" and "fascinating" experience.
The NPR Music "Field Recording" documents and celebrates the creation of Archway, whose installation was constructed, played and dissembled in just one day, with construction beginning at dawn. Archway was realized in collaboration with the New York City Department of Transportation, the DUMBO Improvement District, the PAN ACT Festival, online Member station Q2 Music, and Make Music New York, which this year presented more than 1,000 unique music projects throughout the city's boroughs, all free to the public.
NPR Music previously commissioned a similar musical pairing for Make Music New York 2012, calling on composer Philip Glass to adapt a choral piece for a "flash choir" in New York's Times Square.
Make Music New York is a festival of free concerts in public spaces throughout the five boroughs of New York City - all on the first day of summer. MMNY takes place simultaneously in more than 514 cities around the world for a global performance. From 10 in the morning to 10 at night, musicians of all ages, creeds, and musical persuasions - from hip hop to opera, Latin jazz to punk rock - perform on streets, sidewalks, stoops, plazas, cemeteries, parks and gardens.
NPR Music collaborates with NPR's newsmagazines, public radio Member stations and the passionate NPR community to celebrate great music in every genre. Visit at www.npr.org/music and via NPR Music mobile apps.