Illuminus Will Transform Fenway’s Green Monster into a Percussion Instrument

The nighttime arts festival is relocating to Lansdowne Street for its second edition, featuring 30 installations by artists who manipulate light, sound, and projection.

illuminus boston 2015 fenway

At Illuminus, 15 musicians will scale the Green Monster and ‘play’ it like a giant percussion instrument. / Photo by Rob Eckel

Update, September 30, 1:45 p.m.

Due to inclement weather, Illuminus has been rescheduled from a two-night event on October 3 and 4 to a one-night event on Saturday, October 10. An indoor preview party will take place on Saturday, October 3. Details remain to be announced.


Here in Boston and beyond, we all know the Green Monster—the 37-foot-tall defining feature of the Red Sox’s home turf.

Earlier this year, paint company Benjamin Moore gave the Green Monster a voice, in an advertisement for its “Fenway Collection” of paints, letting it loose on disgruntled New Yorkers.

On Saturday, October 10, a group of artists will go a step further—they’ll make the Green Monster sing.

Titled “Waking the Monster,” an upcoming art installation will bring together a group of New England-based musicians, composers, and visual artists to transform the Fenway Park wall into a giant percussion instrument. Interspersed throughout three levels of the famed structure, 15 percussionists—some inside, suspended on harnesses—will “play” six original works on the Green Monster with drumsticks and mallets, and each strike will activate sound-reactive lighting and visual projections.

“Waking the Monster,” created by Maria Finkelmeier and Ryan Edwards, is just one of the interactive installations featured in the lineup for “Illuminus,” a nighttime arts festival hosted for the second year in Boston.

Last year, Illuminus, produced by Dorchester-based studio Materials & Methods, transformed urban surfaces in the South End’s SoWa district into canvas for installations and performances featuring light, sound, and projection. Boston’s inaugural rendition of the global Nuit Blanche tradition drew more than 10,000 people.

This year, Illuminus is relocating to Lansdowne Street in Fenway, featured on the lineups for both ArtWeek and HUBweek, an eight-day event series celebrating intersections in art, science, and technology, hosted by the Boston Globe, MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard.

Thirty installations, including “Waking the Monster,” will be presented at this year’s Illuminus festival, taking place both outside on Lansdowne Street and inside some venues, including the House of Blues and Bleacher Bar.

Some of the highlights include “Healing Pool,” an installation by Brian Knep that will use a custom algorithm to create organic patterns as visitors step across, touch, or lay on top of it, and “Graffiti vs. Digital,” in which a projectionist and a graffiti artist will collaborate on an artwork.

Artist David Nunez will pay tribute to the four white rhinos that remain in the world in his “Requiem for Rhinoceros” installation, creating a procession of robotic puppet effigies above the festival. “Fit” by Jim Kalambokis will project monumentally sized human figures into constrained architectural spaces, and “Flux Perception” by Nada Tarkhan and Aman Singhvi will visually transform airflow into light.

A complete listing for the projects featured in Illuminus can be found on

Below, check out a preview of “Waking the Monster.”

Free, Saturday, October 10, 6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Lansdowne Street.