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Wilson Art Gallery Past Seasons, 2007-2018

Sondra and John Bromka : Sculpted Sound: From Art to Wood to Music

Sondra and John Bromka : Sculpted Sound: From Art to Wood to Music

November 18 – December 16, 2011

Le Moyne College will host an exhibit by Sondra and John Bromka, titled “Sculpted Sound: From Art to Wood to Music,” in the Wilson Art Gallery, located in the Noreen Reale Falcone Library. The exhibit will run from November 18 to December 16 and can be seen during regular library hours.

An opening reception will be held in the Wilson Art Gallery on Friday, Nov. 18, from 4 - 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Sculpted Sound: From Art to Wood to Music

John and Sondra Bromka’s concerts, musical storytelling performances and teaching adventures have, over three decades, led them on journeys to three continents. They have mounted this exhibit of 40 photographs to show their trail of research in the realm of medieval music, and what they have discovered in the course of these travels, recreating ancient musical instruments that are playable as well as beautiful. The Bromkas, of the Bells & Motley Consort, have presented historic and folkloric programs for libraries, village concert series, schools and historical societies for over 25 years.

The exhibition is free and open to the public during regular library hours. For more information, call (315) 445-4153.

From the artists:

In presenting this exhibition, we open our personal archives to share some of the fuel that has fired our artistic imaginations through 30 years of collaborating together.

We are luthiers; we make stringed instruments out of wood. In particular, we create interpretations of rare instruments from the Renaissance and Medieval periods.

This requires a great deal of exploration and expression, making us variously artists, artisans, conservators and physical engineers. And musicians. We play these instruments.

Most of the known medieval instruments have left no surviving examples to be found. Due to fire, flood, woodworms, wars and the ravages of changing fashions, the original stringed instruments of the Middle Ages have all but vanished. We can discover a great deal about these instruments, however, from the hundreds of depictions that have survived in the artwork: frescos, illuminated manuscripts and marginalia, stained glass and sculpted stone (often roughly sculpted) musical gargoyles and corbels on cathedrals and townhouses.

How do we fashion these images into workable musically satisfying instruments that fit both the music and the hand? “Sculpted Sound” attempts to answer some of this, through our photographs of field work in France, Spain, Istanbul and Flanders, combined with photos of works in progress and examples of finished instruments.

We hope to inspire further interest in medieval music and the art and science of luthiery, and to spark creative solutions in do-it-yourself musical expressions.

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