The Oklahoma City Community Foundation is combining motion with melody through a unique art project that will travel through downtown OKC this Fall.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Community Foundation is bringing the Musical Swings to Bicentennial Park, east of the Oklahoma City Civic Center, 500 Couch Dr. Installation begins Sept. 13 and the swings will be open to the public from Sept. 20 through Oct. 13, offering free access to family fun in music and play.
“Imagine creating beautiful sounds and melodies instantaneously with a complete stranger, and all you have to do is swing,” said Nancy Anthony, Oklahoma City Community Foundation president.
The unique, interactive art installation was created in Canada five years ago and has been traveling to cities across the United States, providing the public with experiences that are not available anywhere else, Anthony said.
The Musical Swings appear similar to a large swing set that might be found in a public park, but they are much more than that. Designed through software applications that link the system together, each of the 10 swings emit unique melodies from instruments such as the piano, harp, guitar and vibraphone. Sound is generated as each swing moves back and forth. As swings move in synchronicity, they maintain rhythms and create a concert of complex melodies.
When used together, the swings compose certain melodies that only emerge through the cooperation of people on other swings. The swings allow people to make music with their entire bodies and play games as they adjust to the actions of others as they create music.
The Swings were developed by Montreal-based Daily Tous Les Jours, an interaction design studio that focuses on bringing people together in public spaces. The Musical Swings’ tour through the U.S. has included many cities, including New York, Detroit, San Jose, Calif. West Palm Beach, Calif. and Green Mountain Falls, Colo.
“We’re excited to offer this experience to our community,” Anthony said. “The music, collaboration and childlike joy of playing on a swing will enrich the family atmosphere of downtown Oklahoma City this Fall, and we know people will enjoy it.”
The Musical Swings will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., starting Sept. 20.