On Friday, October 14, Shreveport’s McNeill Street Pumping Station (142 North Common Street) will host the 2011 MSPS New Music Festival, an evening-long showcase of site-specific performances, installations and recorded compositions by some of the world’s most revered experimental musicians and sound artists. The roster of performers has been finalized, and includes the likes of ambient music legend Tim Hecker, multimedia artist Mark Fell, and a smorgasborg of about 26 others, including locals like Pete Fetterman and Dacoda Montana. The theme of the exhibition is “Architectural Explorations in Sound” and the concept of the entire show is to “play the building” as an instrument. At a planning meeting last night, event co-curator Bob Greenwood said that two performers were planning to string 100 foot-long piano strings between buildings at the Pumping Station and pluck them using pulleys of some sort. Another act will perform utilizing an eight-channel mix – an 8.1 surround sound system. It all sounds pretty fantastical and completely strange and wonderful.
The fest will run 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Admission will be $10. Carpooling is highly recommended. If you’re not familar with the McNeill Street Pumping Station, an 1887 steam-powered water works that was retired in 1980, take a look at their website. To get a sense of the beauty of the building, I recommend checking out this Flickr photoset.