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CitySynth Imagines Eugene As A Player Piano

Karen Richards

Harmonic Laboratory is a Eugene-based group that merges electronic music, dance and visual arts to create and inspire community. They recently won a grant to turn the city of Eugene into a musical instrument.

Jon Bellona and John Park are two of the founders of Harmonic Laboratory. Through the grant, from Firefox's Mozilla, they'll work with the South Eugene High School Robotics Team, or SERT, and the City of Eugene. SERT is building four camera video boxes, to be placed around the city. The idea is, fiber optic feeds send images to a hub downtown, where community members use them to create music. Here's Jon Bellona, then John Park:

Bellona: “If it's really colorful you might hear more instruments that are going to be playing versus at nighttime, things may be more subdued.”


Park: “This is a way that we can imagine the city of Eugene as a living breathing sort of organism that almost plays, almost like a player piano.”


The installation, known as CitySynth, is planned as part of the February 2nd First Friday ArtWalk. It will then remain downtown for a month-long stay.   

Harmonic Laboratory also has a mixed media performance at the Hult Center January 10th and 11th called Tesla.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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