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Music at the Museum
March 9, 2019 @ 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Are you ready to build your own instrument and then join in the concert? Join us on Saturday, March 9 at 2:00 pm in the Ada Paresky Education Center and Paul Paresky Court of the Bennington Museum, when Nick Brooke (faculty, Bennington College) Webb Crawford (Bennington College graduate) and Mark Stewart (founding member of Bang on a Can All Stars) present an instrument building workshop where you, the audience members, build the instruments, then use those instruments to participate in an improvisational performance conducted by Mark Stewart. All in the spirit of Gunnar Schonbeck’s collages.
Maverick composer Gunnar Schonbeck (1919-2005) built 10-foot banjos, drums made out of airplane fuselages, and hundreds of triangular cellos, bell sets and oversized xylophones—now displayed in Mass MoCA’s No Experience Required exhibition. For over 25 years, Schonbeck taught at Bennington College, and over that time, he amassed the oversized instrumentarium in the attic of the College’s Commons. It was here that he also conducted giant “collages”—spectacles that involved dance, song, and audience participation on his home built creations. He died in 2005, and over the next decade his instruments made their way to Mass MoCA, where they are regularly played during the Bang on a Can Festival, by Glenn Kotche, as well as any visitor to the museum.
This Music at the Museum experience combines the spirit of Gunnar Schonbeck’s original collaborative productions with fun, hands-on instrument building. An instrument-building workshop at 2:00 pm is led by Webb Crawford and Nick Brooke. Both musicians will help audience members create the arsenal of wind, string, and mallet instruments. At 3:00 pm, join in the concert as Mark Stewart amasses these new instruments (plus a few others, borrowed from the Schonbeck Instrumentarium), in a communal jamboree, Collage #3571 ½: A Schonbeck Experience, reminiscent of Schonbeck’s collages. Any and all ages can participate, and are encouraged to do so—in this celebration of Schonbeck’s festive legacy! This concert is free and open to the public thanks to the support of Alison Nowak and Robert Cane. Reservations are not required for this performance, and it is accessible to those with disabilities.