Vessel Orchestra, Oliver Beer, 2019. Photo courtesy of Oliver Beer.

Oliver Beer: Vessel Orchestra
On View:
July 2nd – August 11th, 2019
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY

The Met has commissioned a sound-based exhibition for the first time, complete with live performances from a diverse group of artists. Oliver Beer, a conceptual and installation artist from England, is presenting the world premiere of his exhibition Vessel Orchestra, which sees 32 different sculptures used as sound vessels to create organ-like music.

Spouted Jar, 9th-7th century B.C., chosen as a vessel in Vessel Orchestra. Photo courtesy of The Met.

During regular museum hours, the vessels will play a pre-programmed composition, written by Beer for this exhibit. Every Friday evening until the show’s close, the exhibition will have performances from a variety of artists, presenting both new compositions and improvised music on the unique instruments in live “player-piano style”. Performances are free with Museum admission, but are noted to be “intimate” and first come, first served.

Beer has won countless awards for both his compositions and installation art exhibits. This exhibition presents sculptures, utilitarian containers and decorative objects ranging in origin from ancient Persia to modern America. Beer uses microphones and amplifiers to enhance the natural sounds that resonate within these vessels, allowing for them to be transformed into musical instruments.

The Ming Sisters, Betty Woodman, 2003. Vessels chosen for presentation in Oliver Beer’s Vessel Orchestra. Photo courtesy of The Met Museum.

To see the full performance schedule, click here.

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