Skip to main content

Musical sculpture transforms ASU gallery into room-size instrument

Photo credit: Chris Bliss, Orange County Museum of Art

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

March 03, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz.- “Please, step into my instrument.”

Seattle-based artist Trimpin invites visitors into a room-size, five-octave, metal and wood instrument with the interactive sound installation Conloninpurple. Natural sounds played by gallery visitors blend with pre-composed, electroacoustic musical sequences in this installation, which Trimpin created as a tribute to the late American experimentalist composer Conlon Nancarrow.

The exhibition runs from March 6 to May 2 at the Institute for Studies in the Arts Computing Commons Gallery at Arizona State University. The gallery is located at the corner of Palm Walk and Orange Street and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Trimpin will present a lecture on the installation March 6, from 3-4 p.m. in the Computing Commons Auditorium, to be followed immediately by an opening reception. The exhibition, lecture and reception are free and open to the public. The nationally recognized Institute for Studies in the Arts in ASU’s Herberger College of Fine Arts is the presenter.

Trimpin is known for his visually dynamic, sound-producing sculptures, which combine ancient processes, modern technology, organic objects and scientific principles. He is an award-winning artist and recipient of prestigious Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships.

The Conloninpurple exhibition coincides with another sound-oriented event at ASU: The 2003 national conference of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS). The conference will draw more than 150 electroacoustic musicians and composers from around the world from March 12-15. The Institute for Studies in the Arts and the School of Music, also in ASU’s Herberger College of Fine Arts, are hosting the event.

Editor: A high-resolution image of the Conloninpurple installation is available upon request. Photo credit: Chris Bliss, Orange County Museum of Art.

The Institute for Studies in the Arts is an interdisciplinary research and education center in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University. To learn more about the ISA, visit

Media Contact:
Tracey Benson