The University Record, January 15, 2001

Gould’s ‘sound sculptures’ on display

Partly percussion instruments, partly pieces of art, ‘sound sculptures’ created and constructed by Michael Gould, assistant professor of music (percussion), and Michigan State University (MSU) colleague Alison Shaw are on display in ‘Sculptures Musicales’ Jan. 16–Feb. 4 in the Media Union Gallery. The sculptures were first shown at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Columbus, Ohio, in 1999. They have been featured in an exhibition at MSU since then and in the coming months will make their way across the country to other universities.

The 12-sculpture exhibition is an interpretation of a 1989 musical score, ‘Sculptures Musicales’ by John Cage, which takes its name from an idea found within Marcel Duchamp’s sketchbook ‘The Green Box’ (1934). Cage’s ‘Sculptures Musicales’ touches on Duchamp’s aesthetics in nonsense and anti-art. ‘We have tried to elevate the mundane to art as Duchamp had done while trying to adhere to Cage’s ideas of sound found within the score,’ Gould comments.

Above, Gould displays ‘Last Vestige of Americana Part I.’ The sculpture, an enlarged version of an executive desk toy, was constructed from five bowling balls, steel cables and conduit.

The gallery is open noon–5 p.m. Monday–Friday and 1–5 p.m. Saturday–Sunday. A lecture/demonstration will be given by Gould and Shaw at 8 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Media Union Gallery. Photo courtesy Michael Gould