Experiments in Freedom
Gate 13, Royal Parade
Experiments in Freedom explores key areas of Grainger's ‘Free Music’ ideas, including his experimentations with traditional instruments to make new sounds, transformations of everyday objects into experimental music machines, documentation of his experimental process, and contemporary reconstructions of Grainger's experiments.
‘Free Music’ developed from Grainger’s idea of a type of music in which melodic lines could glide freely across any pitch, an idea which transcended all established musical systems and conventions. From the 1940s until his death, Grainger worked intensely to realise this idea, through the adaptations of traditional instruments and the construction of many new machines to create the new type of sounds he was seeking. Grainger sent out many boxes of complete and incomplete machines to the Museum from his home in White Plains throughout the 1950s, which now form part of the collection, in the hope that these instruments would be inspirational to other experimental and free-thinking musicians and composers.
Three Free Music machines based on Grainger's experiments were created in 2016 for Experiments in Freedom. Conceived by musician and composer Rosalind Hall and designed and constructed by new media artist Michael Candy, these recreated Free Music machines are the result of extensive research into the documentation and remaining fragments of Cross and Grainger’s original Free Music experiments in the Grainger Museum archives. These Free Music machines are on display as part of the Experiments in Freedom exhibition.
Follow the link to our online exhibition platform, to explore the exhibition further, which included more videos that demonstrate each of the Free Music machine recreations individually.
Experiments in Freedom is open Sunday to Friday, 12 – 4 PM. Entry is free.