Downtown sound

Noise installation highlights Preview Thursday

Artists Matt Sargent and Chris Kallmyer created “Bottle Fence” in the Amargosa Desert and captured the sound of wind blowing into the bottles during their residency at Goldwell Open Air Museum.

Preview Thursday, which happens on the eve of every First Friday, has become the art event for collectors and gallery crawlers who want the art without the festival atmosphere.

Downtown gallerists hold exhibit openings and often make most of their sales that night. Last week, there was an extra perk, as Goldwell Open Air Museum launched the first of a series of Urban Outreach Programs, beginning with the sound installation "Manmade Mountains and Underground Rivers," created by Chris Kallmyer and Matt Sargent during their June residency at the facility in Rhyolite.

As cars passed by on Charleston Boulevard, they triggered a computer to extract and play noises recorded in the ghost town 155 miles away: a droning sound from wind blowing through mesquite and creosote, rocks dragging across the gravel and wind blowing into bottles that were collected in the remote area and hung from a fence.

Mixing the desert sounds with the natural ebb and flow of the traffic, the surround-sound speakers, place outside Bar + Bistro at the Arts Factory, created a compelling synthesis of here and there.

Sargent, a Connecticut composer/guitarist/laptop artist, and Kallmyer, a Los Angeles performer/composer/sound artist, premiered the project June 26 in Goldwell. Their performance, catering to Bar +Bistro patrons, gave us a better glimpse of what's happening out in Goldwell. And it whet the appetite for whatever Preview Thursday would come up with next month.

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Kristen Peterson

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