Rhode Island School of Design's Department of Architecture presents "Galapagos in C" at the RISD Museum on December 9

December 1, 2015

Rhode Island School of Design’s (RISD) Department of Architecture is pleased to present “Galapagos in C” on Wednesday, December 9 from 7:00-8:00pm in the RISD Museum's Grand Gallery, 224 Benefit Street, Providence, RI.

Nearly 40 RISD Architecture students will present an interactive, multimedia performance combining architecture, performance and music, including Terry Riley’s canonical 1964 piece “In C,” accompanied by Community MusicWorks alumni. As a finishing touch, composer and music scholar Stuart Isacoff of the Wall Street Journal, will play piano.

Admission is free and open to the public – tickets must be reserved in advance, as seating is limited: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/galapagos-in-c-tickets-19713773427?ref=ebtn

The performance is the culmination of two collaborative Architecture studios co-taught by architect David Gersten and composer Michael Harrison. This is a first-of-its-kind project held at RISD and was initiated by Architecture Department Head Laura Briggs.

Outside the Guidelines, taught by a different instructor every year, exemplifies RISD Architecture’s commitment to addressing questions about space and design from multiple perspectives. Current instructor Michael Harrison is a composer and pianist of global repute, who has been called “an American maverick” by noted composer Philip Glass. This semester the course explored North Indian classical music and raga, just intonation, links between musical and revolutionary movements, and sound design program Reaper. The museum performance is part of the final project.

“In a series of call and response duets, listening and speaking to the paintings within the RISD Museum’s Grand Gallery, the work will attempt to create a conversation with the room, drawing out the paintings into the sounds of ‘In C’ using spoken word, sound installations, performative gestures and projections,” notes Harrison.

The second course, Galapagos Providence, is taught by New York-based architect, artist, writer and internationally recognized educator David Gersten. His works includes drawings, stories, essays, films, performances, workshops and constructions. The class is based on the evolution of knowledge, asking “What happened down there in the Galapagos?” in the context of artistic inspiration and expression. Galapagos Providence is a new approach to creating structures and spaces for creative exchange across a wide range of disciplines,” says Gersten. “The goal is to develop new questions, thought processes and forms of knowledge.”

About the Galapagos Project
The idea of “Galapagos in C” was conceived as part of the ongoing “Galapagos Project,” an archipelago of works initiated last year through Arts Letters & Numbers, a nonprofit arts and education organization founded by David Gersten in which Michael Harrison is both a visiting artist and an Advisory Board member. The global initiative aims to promote collaboration, foster creative alliance and advocate for greater empathy, compassion and ethics in developing new spaces for education and new forms of knowledge. Recognizing cultural diversity as a range of ways of knowing, this project proposes a new vision of education: a Galapagos of forms of knowledge containing an intellectual force with the capacity to make significant contributions towards creating a better world.