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At a concert, you probably notice the way a singer accents the words of a song, or how the amp feedback is controlled each time a guitarist sustains a note, but do you think about the sound that’s all around us, every day?

On Sunday, July 16, you’ll get a chance to listen to all the “Sounds of the Street” at our Block Party in Chelsea, where you can explore and create sound alongside fellow music lovers and curious New Yorkers. Whether it’s listening to traditional Tibetan Buddhist mantras, creating your own handmade instruments, or just feeling the energy thrumming through the Museum’s galleries, there’s something here for you to discover!

Here are the top five reasons why “Sounds of the Street” is an audiophile’s dream:

1) Our newest exhibition, The World Is Sound, is entirely sound-centric.

Photo by Filip Wolak
Photo by Filip Wolak

With free admission during the Block Party, you can visit The World Is Sound exhibition, which interlaces aspects of both Tibetan Buddhist ritual music and contemporary sound art to explore the ways sound and listening shape everyday life. Immerse yourself in sound using nontraditional methods, such as motion to activate mantras and touch to feel the vibrations of music.

2) Transform your body into an instrument with MSHR’s Solar Helix.

Courtesy of MSHR

For a unique take on sound art, artist collective MSHR invites you to participate in their interactive installation called Solar Helix, which allows the human body to become an instrument. Your own body will conduct electronic sound as you step onto metal plates, creating music during skin-to-skin contact. You’ll be able to consider the relationship between sound and touch through this one-of-a-kind activity.

3) Join a kirtan concert to celebrate spiritual sound.

Courtesy of the Bhakti Center

Sound takes form in a multitude of ways, including the human voice. At the Block Party’s main stage you’ll encounter a kirtan, a collaborative form of spiritual meditation that you’re invited to take part in. Chant along with renowned vocalist and performer, Bhakti Lata, and accompanying musicians from the Bhakti Center for an unforgettable experience that rejoices the beauty of spiritual devotion and sound.

4) Every corner of the Museum is noisy (in a good way!)

Photo by Filip Wolak
Photo by Filip Wolak

The sound art installation, Le Corps Sonore, is the centerpiece of The World Is Sound, created specifically for the Rubin’s unique spiral staircase by the electronic sound pioneers Eliane Radigue, Laetitia Sonami, and Bob Bielecki. As you walk up the staircase and explore the corners of our galleries you’ll hear—and feel—the finely tuned symphony infiltrating the entire Museum.

There are other installations located throughout the Rubin—perk up your ears and see how many you can find!

5) Sound gets tactile—for all ages

Photo by Rubin Museum of Art
Photo by Rubin Museum of Art

Art-making stations posted on 17th Street will feature activities that incorporate sound art—adults and kids of all ages can try their hand at creating their own instruments, drawing the sounds of emotions, and watching how sound influences our surroundings at the Dancing Oobleck station.

Whether you’re an avid audiophile or just a casual listener, the Block Party has something for you! Learn more about the festivities and be sure join us on Sunday, July 16!