People are Writing Songs for Philadelphia’s Public Art

You know how you’re always walking down the street, staring at Philadelphia’s many examples of public art and thinking, Gee, I wonder what that sculpture would sound like if it were a song? Fortunately for you, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art Program has commissioned local experimental arts organization Bowerbird to curate and produce Sound Sculptures, a series of recordings inspired by individual outdoor sculptures.

Contributors range from poet Pattie McCarthy, who offered some spoken word for Claes Oldenburg’s iconic Clothespin, to DJ/composer King Britt, who paid tribute to Jim Sanborn’s Ars Mendendi, located on Walnut Street just east of 11th. You can download the recordings via the Sound Sculptures site or punch in a code located at each sculpture and listen on your phone.

Here, see Dennis Oppenheim’s 2007 sculpture Waveforms (34th and Chestnut) and, below, listen to sound designer/producer James Plotkin’s song of the same name inspired by it.