New programs for 'How It Plays' exhibition

Our popular exhibition has been extended into 2020 to showcase the Living Instruments Project and host musical events in collaboration with Speak Percussion and the Federation Handbells.

The Living Instruments Project

Image of students recording the sound of Percussion instruments at the Grainger Museum

We recently welcomed students from Dr Anthony Lyon's Fine Arts and Music at Melbourne - VCA & Conservatorium Interactive Composition class to the Grainger Museum, providing them with a rare opportunity to play some of the marimbas, metallophones, marimbaphones and xylophones currently on display within our current exhibition How It Plays: Innovations in Percussion.

The students are part of the Living Instruments Project, which is an interdisciplinary collaboration that digitally preserves and transforms instruments in the Grainger Museum collection into playable virtual instruments for interactive display, public access and creative engagement.

The project takes the relatively new area of virtual instrument design based on mapping ‘real’ instruments (via sampling their sound) to new tactile digital interfaces for re-use and creative application. The project engages with the unique and culturally valuable Grainger Museum instrument collection and brings contemporary sound making practices together with digital instrument design to create virtual Grainger instruments.

Once the composition students have finished with their task of sampling the instruments, their work will then move onto students in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at The University of Melbourne, who will be tasked with the job of designing a web-based software interface / experience that allows for the playing of digital Grainger Instruments.

Suffice to say, we love having students access, work with and develop from the Grainger Museum Collection. We are very excited to integrate the Living Instruments Project into our current exhibition How It Plays: Innovations in Percussion in early 2020.

2020 Musical events at the Grainger Museum

Alongside the Living Instruments Project, we are excited to be planning new musical events in early 2020 as part of the exhibition How it Plays: Innovations in Percussion, in collaboration with Speak Percussion and the Federation Handbells. Keep an eye on our social media and make sure you sign up to receive the Grainger eNews to get all the details of our public programs delivered to your inbox!

Image of six percussionists performing a work on the Federation Handbells

More Information

Grainger Museum

03 8344 5270