Making Space


A Series of Pop-Up Events to Transform the Social Soundscape

This collaborative project addresses the use of space, sound, music, movement, and social interaction on campus. The Music Department has done research of patterns of foot traffic, use of both indoor and outdoor space, and community desires around the current environment to help discover, create, and activate some “urban centers” on campus. Several departments are working together to develop aesthetic, artistic, environmental, culinary and interactive elements to sustain this concept into the future.

The Wellesley College Concert Series, in collaboration with 2013-2014 Resident Fellow at the Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Marié Abe, and several other campus programs and presenters, explores sound in physical space, social space, and the urban and natural environment, shaping this project throughout this semester. 

Following are the individual events featured as part of the Making Space program. Please check this page for rain location changes, and text CONCERTS to 42828 for more Making Space information:

Conduction Induction: An April Fools Day lunchtime adventure at the Lulu

Monday, April 1 | 12:30PM | Anderson Forum

A vivid interaction/improvisation between music creators and a conducting, spontaneous composer, which could include YOU! The conductor leads the ensemble in improvisation, using hand signals and gestures, creating a spontaneous new composition. David Harris, trained in Conduction, will lead off, followed by student musicians and conductors who took his workshop. Then it will be opened up to anyone. With musicians from the Wellesley BlueJazz Big Band and Combos.

Brooklyn Rider Flash Concert

Friday, April 11 |  4:30PM  | The Residential Quint

Born out of a desire to use the rich medium of the string quartet as a vehicle for communication across a large span of history and geography, Brooklyn Rider is equally devoted to the interpretation of existing quartet literature and to the creation of new works. The musicians have worked with such composers as Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Ljova, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Jenny Scheinman and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, and they also regularly perform pieces written or arranged by members of the group. Another integral part of the group’s work involves creative collaborations with other artists, such as Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, Syrian/Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad, traditional and technology-based Japanese shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes, and more. As educators, Brooklyn Rider has enjoyed residencies at Williams College, MacPhail Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College, Texas A&M University, Denison University, and UNC Chapel Hill. We are thrilled to have Brooklyn Rider on the Wellesley campus for a week, working with music students and non-music students alike.

Pauline Oliveros: Deep Listening Workshop and Site Specific Performance

Pauline Oliveros: Deep Listening Workshop

Earth Day: Tuesday, April 22  |  12:30–1:30 PM  |  Hay Amphitheater (behind Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center) | Rain location: Multifaith Room, lower level of Houghton Chapel

There’s more to listening than meets the ear. Deep Listening, as developed by Oliveros, explores the difference between the involuntary nature of hearing and the voluntary, selective nature – exclusive and inclusive -- of listening.  The practice includes bodywork, sonic meditations, interactive performance, listening to the sounds of daily life, nature, one’s own thoughts, imagination and dreams, and listening to listening itself.  It cultivates a heightened awareness of the sonic environment, both external and internal, and promotes experimentation, improvisation, collaboration, playfulness and other creative skills vital to personal and community growth. Please bring your own lunch. 

Pauline Oliveros is a senior figure in contemporary American music. In the '50s she was part of a circle of iconoclastic composers, artists, poets gathered together in San Francisco. Recently awarded the John Cage award for 2012 from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts, Oliveros is Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, and Darius Milhaud Artist-in-Residence at Mills College. Since the 1960's she has influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual.  

Pauline Oliveros: Site-Specific Performance

Tuesday, April 22  |  4:30–5:30 PM  |  Severance Green (across from the library)  |  Rain location: Ferguson Greenhouses, behind the Science Center

Pauline Oliveros will be performing site-specific improvised music on the accordion and electronics in Severance Green. This performance will activate the specific space on Wellesley campus and invite the audience to interact with the location by listening deeply to Oliveros' sonic offering, the surrounding environment, and to ourselves. Sweets and snacks will be available before and after the performance. 

Open Notes concert

Monday, May 5  |  12:30 PM  |  Davis Plaza (rain location: Anderson Forum)

Open Notes is our newest series of informal concerts featuring students, faculty and/or ensembles from any department, who choose to share their work. These informal concerts, often in public spaces, are open to any genre of music. For this particular event, please bring your lunch and enjoy the music.

Want to participate? Please speak with David Russell in the Music Department.

On the Street! Asphalt Orchestra

Wednesday, May 7th  | 1:00 PM  |  Tower Courtyard (rain location: Tower Great Hall)

Wednesday, May 7th  | 5:30 PM  |  Munger Meadow (rain location: Knapp Social Sciences Atrium at Pendleton East)

Wednesday, May 7th  | Final Flash with FOOD TRUCKS at 7:00PM |  Davis Plaza, Davis Steps, and Academic Quad

The culminating event features Asphalt Orchestra, a radical new street band, in an end-of-semester celebration of unparalleled acoustic joy, participation. Unleashing an array of innovative music from concert halls, rock clubs, and jazz basements to the streets and masses, the group includes 12 of the most exciting rock, jazz, and classical brass and percussion players New York City has to offer. They are an outdoor guerrilla musical force not to be missed.

Asphalt Orchestra’s debut performances stretched 10 packed nights at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival in New York over the summers of 2009 and 2010. Since then they have performed throughout the US, Canada, and London, including the TED Women conference in Washington D.C. and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The group has been praised by a series of publications, including Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Economist, while releasing their debut album in 2010.