July 17 – September 8, 2017
Opening Reception with Andy Graydon:
Monday, July 17, 6-8pm
A Universal Syntax
is the story of a fictitious interview with a researcher who has become fascinated by an old monastery (based on one Graydon visited in Austria) and the musical language created by the monks there—all of which has “disappeared … as if it had never been.” Two slide projectors show photos of the monastery perched atop a hill, as well as a transcription of the interview and the score of the monks’ song. Eventually, the interviewee shares a recording of the singing with the interviewer. The only sound we hear is the clacking of the projectors. But we see the mysterious score—rendered in a notation or “a universal syntax” resembling stacks of dashed lines—that is implied to be the magic behind the monastery’s disappearance.
Graydon’s second artwork in the exhibition is the printed score for Gathering Note
, a choral performance that was presented on the Cambridge Common in May and will be performed again at 1 p.m. July 16 and 2 p.m. Sept. 17. By presenting just the score, the artist again invites us to imagine its transformation into live singing in our heads. “Gathering Note” is inspired by the Bay Psalm Book, printed in Cambridge in 1640, the first book to be published in British North America. Seeing how congregations through history have altered and shaped the form of the songs, Graydon created a unique score that uses traditional musical notation in combination with graphic marks to invite the group of singers to find their own individual paths through the park, listening as other singers approach, and ultimately come together as a musical “constellation.”
In Gathering Note
, Graydon aims to bring people together to use “imagination and collective will” to consider “what kind of social art form can we cook up through the funny, quixotic cues of this public art performance work?”
Graydon’s exhibition and performances are part of Common Exchange
, a series of art installations, performances, and exhibitions in and around Cambridge Common from May to September 2017 that highlights the historic green as a place where we come together as a community— a place for conversation, a place for sharing ideas.
Gallery 344 is free and open to the public.
Cambridge Arts Council
City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Cambridge, MA
Monday 8:30am - 8:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Friday 8:30am - 12:00pm
Saturday - Sunday closed
Cambridge Arts Council Public Art Program
In accordance with Cambridge's Public Art Program, one percent of construction costs for capital improvements is designated to support the inclusion of integrated, site-responsive public art. Since 1979, over 200 artworks have been commissioned into the Cambridge Public Art Collection for the enjoyment of all who live, work and visit the city.