Chris Kallmyer: Ensemble. Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber.

Ensemble is a multimedia installation by Los Angeles-based sound and performance artist Chris Kallmyer. The exhibition centers around a sculptural instrument made of raw timber and aluminum bells that functions as a communal bell-ringing instrument, or carillon. Activated by a group of individuals, the instrument employs a method of music-making by non-musicians that blends collective listening with lively communal rituals and meditation practice. Including a selection of musical scores, drawings, reading nook, and a video, Ensemble offers an oasis for contemplation and exploration. Accompanied by a series of sound and meditation workshops, the exhibition functions as a production and rehearsal space — part laboratory and part sanctuary — and serves as an active studio for Kallmyer to further explore the post-Fluxus poetics of everyday objects and what happens when audience-turns-performer.

Ensemble arises from a series of projects by Kallmyer that explores site-based, shared music-making with public audiences, including A Paradise Choir (2016) at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Commonfield Clay (2015) at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, and Everyone in a place (2010/2011), that Kallmyer produced with LA-based art collective Machine Project at the UCLA Hammer Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. With Ensemble, Kallmyer brings to SBMA and its constituents a fresh opportunity to engage with art, with sound, and with others in innovative and evocative ways.

Ensemble is on view at The Santa Barbara Museum of Art (1130 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101) through September 15. The public is invited to create music in multiple engagement opportunities throughout the exhibition. A full event calendar is here.

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