Music Hack Lab

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Written by the editors of Animal New York

Sarah Fylak plays violin. Shantell Martin draws on everything. The two artists had never met before we asked them to create a collaborative piece for the Catskills Art Trip, a journey into the mountains during which Sarah, Shantell, and a group of other artists transformed one hotel into an immersive multimedia art piece.

To reflect the constant cultural reinvention that characterizes the Catskills, Sarah, Shantell, and a team of music technology gurus created a dynamic multimedia performance that bridges the worlds of music and visual art, all while paying tribute to an iconic piece of classical music, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3.

Software designed by James Staub, Ian Headley, and CJ Carr allowed Shantell to project her improvisational drawings onto the walls of a hotel room while simultaneously using her pen – and herself – to interpret the notes of Sarah’s violin. It was, according to all of the artists involved, an experience that took them out of their comfort zones and encouraged real-time collaboration.
“The concerto was incredible for me to play in this context,” Sarah says. “It really brought the two portions of my life together: classical structure and improvisation. It was really profound for me to meld those two together tonight, based on Shantell’s illustrations.”


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