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Cave Man 

Wednesday, Jun 24 2009
The resonance, amplification, and tones of pianos don’t come from the ebonies and ivories. The sound and fury comes from the part of the piano unsurprisingly, and unromantically, called the sound board. It’s the heavy part, literally and figuratively, of the instrument — the part absent from keyboards and synthesizers. The sound board is also the beautiful part, visually and sonically. So it’s the last part of a piano you might expect an artist to toss around like couch cushions, but that’s exactly what mad sculptor Tyson Ayers does. At his cynicism-melting “Sound Cave,” he (carefully, and with sturdy engineering) piles sound boards on one another to make something that can really only be called a fort, the kind children make out of couch cushions. Viewers can crawl inside and contemplate the specially tuned ultrachords that don’t exist anywhere else (some of the boards are tuned to ancient healing frequencies), or they can creep around the structure, running fingers over the hundreds of copper-wrapped wires. Ayers tells us that for this installation, he has four new sound boards; that’s at least 704 more wires.
June 27-Aug. 7, 2009

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Hiya Swanhuyser


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