Best of the Day: MIT Glass Band – June 12, 2015
Welcome to Best of the Day, our daily recommendation for what to check out around town. If you do one thing in Boston today, consider this.
Glass holds a special place in the world of mad science. Just reading the words “Erlenmeyer flask” conjures up images of Victor Frankenstein in his lab, cackling as he squints at bubbling beakers. So it’s only natural that our very own local mad scientist incubator, MIT, would have its very own band devoted to making brain-bending experimental music with glassware.
The MIT Glass Band, an offshoot of the MIT Glass Lab, hand-blows glass instruments that can be used to make a dizzying array of strange and ethereal sounds. Assembled, the band comes off like an orchestra from an alien planet.
Their glass menagerie includes giant glass didgeridoos; delicate, tinkling glass bells; glass shapes played like violins; and glass beads encased in glass tubes shaken for percussion. Oh, and let’s not forget the “vitreous membranophone”—a description-defying noisemaker created by Glass Lab director Peter Houk, made from glass stretched so perilously thin, few survive the manufacturing process unshattered.
Tonight, at MIT Museum’s Second Friday event, you can meet the artists, learn how they build and play their unique silica instruments, and listen to the surprising music they coax out of them.
Event free with museum admission ($10, $5 students and seniors), June 12, 5-8 p.m., MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Building N51, Cambridge, 617-253-5927, web.mit.edu/museum.