187 seconds of sound sculpture and traffic in North Adams

Trips to the Berkshires are always very busy. We have this sense that very little–and almost nothing kid-friendly–happens up in Potsdam, so when we make our way down to civilization it’s a flurry of food, entertainment, and cultural activity. Sarah found a recommendation for a little park up in the hills by North Adams and we had an afternoon activity.

It was a bit of a drive, so to fill out the excursion we decided to stop at a couple of sound sculptures in and around Mass MoCA. The first was Corrugarou, a “musical house” by Andrew Schrock and Klaas Hübner. This alone was worth the trip. Behind some bushes, next to a busy intersection, we found a small structure with all sorts of pipes, panels, brackets, and bars sticking out of it. Down at the bottom we found a bunch of brass cranks which, when cranked, spun large spiraled tubes up above.

The sound was incredible. When I was a kid I had an oversized plastic flexi-straw that I would swing around in the air. It made a very distinct and memorable whistling sound. Corrugarou sounded like a whole flock of swung flexi-straws.

Here’s a glimpse of the beast: