NPR logo Kenny Wollesen's Balloon Bassoon Promenade (The ISSUE Project Room Soundwalk-A-Thon)

Kenny Wollesen's Balloon Bassoon Promenade (The ISSUE Project Room Soundwalk-A-Thon)

I love a good parade [cue march music]. And growing up in New Orleans made me this way.

Beyond the pageantry of Mardi Gras, people come together in the streets for any reason — birth, death, the space in between and whatever comes after. Music for every occasion.

New York's a little different. This is a city where everyone is the Grand Marshal of his or her own personal parade. Yesterday, I met with saxophonist David Binney at the foot of Verdi Square — 72nd and Broadway on Manhattan's Upper West Side. When he arrived, drummer Kenny Wollesen was with him. I told Kenny how much I regretted missing the Sex Mob show the night before.

So he invited me to a parade. How could I resist?

This Sunday in Brooklyn, sound artists and musicians are connecting people to city life with sound. It's a "Choose Your Own Adventure" sonic experience called the ISSUE Project Room Soundwalk-A-Thon.

Guitarist Marc Ribot guides a chromatic journey through Gowanus neighborhood. Kenny Wollesen leads a promenade of balloon bassoons from Grand Army Plaza. There are 18 more of these adventures, and all of them are participatory.

If you've come this far, you're likely wondering — a balloon bassoon? WTF?

Watch this video, and you'll still be asking that question. But if you happen to be in Brooklyn this Sunday, play one for yourself and support experimental art.

Article continues after sponsorship

I chuckle when I use that term, "experimental art." When you're from New Orleans, what's so new about folks coming together and making a joyful noise?