Ensemble is the title of a new multimedia installation by Los Angeles-based sound and performance artist, Chris Kallmyer. The exhibition centers around a sculptural instrument created specifically for the exhibition comprised of raw timber and handmade bells that functions as a communal bell-ringing instrument, or carillon. The instrument, activated by a group of individuals, employs a method of making music by non-musicians that blends collective listening with lively communal rituals and meditation practice. Presented in SBMA’s Preston Morton Gallery and including a selection of musical scores developed by the artist, related drawings, and a video projection documenting the inaugural staging of the instrument, Ensemble serves as an oasis for contemplation and exploration. Accompanied by a series of sound and meditation workshops, the exhibition functions as a production and rehearsal space—part laboratory and part sanctuary—made active by various participants throughout the exhibition’s duration. The exhibition serves as an active studio for Kallmyer to further explore the post-Fluxus poetics of everyday objects, what happens when audience-turns-performer, and what we collectively seek from the experience of listening.
Created for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art
May 19 – Sept 15, 2019