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Listen Hear on Monument Circle
Posted August 05, 2015 by Taylor Peters

 

Monday after work, I popped up from my solitary little desk in the back of IUPUI's Kelley School of Business and I walked straight to Monument Circle. I've worked there going on three years and I've never done that before. There's usually not much waiting for me on the circle but for traffic and water features. Monday, though, was different, thanks to the fine folks at Big Car, to John Flannelly, and to Duncan Kissinger. Monday was the first in the Mellow Monday concert series underwritten by Big Car, organized and curated by John Flannelly, and it was kicked off in a sleepy whorl by Mr. Kissinger.

 

 

From now through October 12, every Monday from 6pm to 7pm in front of the Emmis Building, a stream of charming local experimenters will post up and play some form of sound art. Scheduled performers include the likes of Jim Walker, Rob Funkhouser, Kaiton Slusher, Teen Brigade, and more. Check out a playlist above featuring several of the slated performers.

 

 

The Mellow Monday series is a part of Big Car's partnership with the City of Indianapolis for Spark Monument Circle, an ongoing project of placemaking downtown that began on August 1 and runs mid-October. Every day of the week has programming and a theme, including Walking Wednesdays (featuring organized and often fitness-oriented walks around the city), Phono Fridays (with spoken word and DJs) and Cycle Sundays (with an array of cycling-themed programming). The entire project centers around the goal of making downtown a more culturally vibrant and exciting place to just hang out on a day-to-day basis. Read more about it, and get the scoop on all the themed days, here.

 

Kissinger's hour long set, which despite its simplicity felt somehow as if it compressed its 60-minute length into a maximum of 20, was made up only of dynamic microphones pointed at fans of all shapes and sizes. Working with a few simple effects, Kissinger largely just manipulated the volumes of each microphone, recombining the common background sound into a thick wall of ambience. Because of the visual strangeness of the miked-up fans paired with the uncanny wall of tone, it had the unique ability to draw in passerby, piquing their interest, making them stop, take a picture, and wonder just what the heck was going on, all while Kissinger unassumingly, artfully twiddled knobs.

 

 

A video posted by torpor (@hiitistaylor) on

 

For my money, "What the heck is going on," is about half a step away form, "holy crap, this is cool," which is itself about half a step away from "let me just try this one thing I just thought of." That, of course, is the point. Shooting out sparks and hoping some of them catch. Come with me on a future Monday and we will bask in mellow local audio in the shade of an edifice to corporate radio.

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