Local Artist Brings Interactive Art & Sound Sculpture to Cambridge Crossing


(Cambridge, MA) February 6, 2019 – Inspired to reimagine a musical sculpture previously installed outside of Cambridge’s city hall some 39 years ago by Paul Matisse, the Pickup Music Project has created “The Musical Fence: Reprise,” an interactive public art piece at Cambridge Crossing (CX) that combines sculpture and music. Comprised of tuned aluminum chimes, The Musical Fence: Reprise at CX demonstrates how art can build community and create connections in public spaces, encouraging folks passing by to take a moment to pause, and make music.


“We are thrilled to partner with The Pickup Music Project on The Musical Fence installation at Cambridge Crossing,” said Tina Snyder, Director of Marketing of DivcoWest. “DJ’s passion for bringing what was a piece of Cambridge history to life at CX and the idea that this one interactive sound sculpture can spark interactions and bring joy to those in the East Cambridge community through art and making music together is wonderful.”

In 1980, the Cambridge Arts Council commissioned American Sculptor Paul Matisse to install a musical fence outside of Cambridge City Hall. Just 40 days later it was removed, and today each part resides at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and the Montshire Museum of Science in Vermont respectively. Inspired by Matisse’s work, Somerville artist Daniel Joseph (DJ) realized the positive impact that sound and music can have on people and saw value in bringing Matisse’s work back to life and back to the people of Cambridge. The Musical Fence: Reprise at CX revives the spirit of Matisse’s original work, creating a public space for music making, and a piece that invites and encourages musical participation from all levels.

“At Pickup Music Project we believe in the importance of active music making – in the magic of humans making music in the same place and at the same time. Over the past three years, we’ve seen this magic come to life firsthand during temporary installations of our work at major music festivals such as Newport Folk Festival, and Eaux Claires, and at gatherings like the Boston Children’s museum Maker Faire. Because of that success, we’re now getting the chance to install our work in public for longer periods of time, thanks to innovative organizations like DivcoWest. Our hope at Cambridge Crossing is to create opportunities for people of all ages in the East Cambridge community to engage with sound, and with one another, in a new way – and to pick up music.” said DJ, Director of The Pickup Music Project (PuMP).

Now installed at Cambridge Crossing along the community path on the CX Common, The Musical Fence: Reprise consists of two fences for all ages to enjoy. Made up of 90 tuned aluminum chimes that sit on a wooden base, the fence can be played by striking the chimes with supplied rubber mallets that create vibrant sounds. The chimes are arranged to sound a melody when rung from left to right, or right to left, inviting folks to create their own music and explore the interactive sound sculpture.

The Musical Fence: Reprise at CX can be experienced through April 2019. The fence will then make its way to the Boston Children’s Museum. A live demonstration of the interactive sound sculpture at CX and concert will be performed on Saturday, April 20th from 1:00pm – 2:00pm during the Cambridge Science Festival. The event is open and free to the public and will take place at Cambridge Crossing at 20 Child Street in Cambridge, MA. Follow CX on social media for more information and to follow the musical fence story at @CXCambridge.

About Cambridge Crossing
Cambridge Crossing (CX) is 43-acre, 4.5 million square foot mixed-use, transit-rich neighborhood situated at the intersection of Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston. CX will be comprised of approximately 2.1 million square feet of state-of-the-art science and technology space, approximately 2,400 new residential units in addition to approximately 2,500 existing units, and approximately 100,000 square feet of retail thoughtfully curated to deliver a unique and local neighborhood experience. The project will also include approximately 11 acres of activated public open spaces, highlighted by a central common area. http://www.cambridgecrossing.com

About DivcoWest
DivcoWest, founded by Stuart Shiff, is a vertically-integrated operator, owner, developer and real estate partner to the innovation economy. Since its inception, DivcoWest and its predecessor have acquired more than 42.9 million square feet of commercial space located primarily in U.S. coastal innovation markets. The current real estate portfolio includes existing and development properties across office, R&D, lab, industrial, retail and multifamily including the 43-acre Cambridge Crossing development in Cambridge, MA. Headquartered in San Francisco, DivcoWest has corporate offices in Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York, as well as numerous property management locations. http://www.divcowest.com

About Pickup Music Project
The Pickup Music Project (PuMP) is a team of artists, musicians, engineers, and craftsmen who create public spaces for pick-up music making, similiar to the way basketball courts allow for pick-up basketball. PuMP makes such places by building interactive sound sculptures, or big instruments, which invite musical participation from all levels. For three consecutive years, the group has premiered new sculptures at major music festivals including Eaux Claires, and Newport Folk Festival, while also installing permanent and semipermanent works in public parks, at museums, and on school campuses. PuMP has collaborated with a growing number of notable artists, such as Bryce Dessner (composer/guitarist, The National), as they continue to marry the digital+analog into new ways of making music+community. http://www.pickupmusicproject.com

Something incredible is rising in Cambridge.

And here is your exclusive invitation to be a part of it. We want to collaborate with driven, courageous thinkers and makers who share our vision. Cambridge Crossing is the place for leaders and teams who know that the spark of real innovation can strike anywhere at anytime.