The “Bing, Bang, Boing Festival of Radical Instruments of Sound and Vision” opened in early May, and will include a further lecture/concert by the artist/musicians at Catskill’s Brik Gallery on June 19 and a daylong sound festival at Catskill Point, by the Hudson River, on Saturday, July 2. The show’s Brooklyn-based curator, Ken Butler, is widely acknowledged as an important figure in the history of performance-based sculptural instruments that have included a “piano” that projects light paintings and an army of gorgeous guitars constructed from bicycle parts and found furniture. Amongst his finds are Palenville artist Peter Head (of Pitchfork Militia fame) with a host of new found-object electric guitars and thumb pianos; Catskill artist Brian Dewan and his cousin Leon – featured in The New Yorker this past winter – showing off a series of new Moog-inspired Dewanatrons, recently recognized in the Oscar-winning soundtrack of the movie, The Social Network); local rock-piler and Renaissance man Harry Mathews with his new Helmet-o-Phone and a wildly original aerosol-can organ; Catskill two-story Catamount People’s Museum cat-builder Matt Bua’s suitcase orchestra of circuit-bent toys, rheostats and light-sensitive controls; Brooklyn artist Nick Yulman’s percussive sculptural installation of triggered Song Cabinet drawer symphonies, and Brooklyn performing artist Bradford Reed’s zitherlike Pencilina.
All previous events in the Festival, along with daily gallery showings of the exhibit, have been loud, fun and infectious, drawing ever-larger crowds of enthusiasts young and old, including an earlier impromptu performance by the Evander Quartet with noted Israeli cellist Yehudi Hanani. The Evander Quartet is made up of four talented young men studying at the top-ranked Eastman School of Music in Rochester, who are emulating other successful quartets by spending their summer playing as many concerts as possible in the Hudson Valley – a location that they chose based on its cultural heritage and the anonymous gift that has allowed their regional residency. In addition to a full schedule of concerts in local schools, churches, concert halls and historic homes, the Quartet has also been playing regular brunches at the Catskill Mountain Lodge on Route 32A, near Palenville on the Ulster/Greene County line. This Sunday’s concert at the Catskill Community Movie Theater, at 373 Main Street in Catskill, will be followed by a reception at the GCCA Gallery at 398 Main Street, where the “Bing Bang Boing” show will be up through July 2.
For more information about any of these events, please call the Greene County Council on the Arts at (518) 943-3400 or visit www.greenearts.org.