Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ideas for an outdoor musical plaza at Way Park


The Friends of Way Park, in collaboration with the Northfield Rotary Club, some local music educators, and the city, is exploring the possibility of an outdoor musical plaza for the park.


The instruments, pictured to the right, are the Contrabass Chimes (tall, on the left), the Swirl (orange, toward the back), the Imbarimba (yellow), the Pegasus (blue) and the Tuned Drums.
Jackson Square Park in Minneapolis
A similar collection of instruments was recently installed in Jackson Square Park in Minneapolis.

You can hear and read about the instruments on the Freenotes website.

The video below, from Freenotes Harmony, shows a musical plaza embedded in a naturally landscaped space.



Frequently Asked Questions

Where will they be?  On the north end of the Park, centered between east and west borders. Our plan is to place them on a small plaza on the south side of the sidewalk that runs below the wall and steps.

How will they sound?  They are tuned to produce harmonious sounds when played together.

Will they disturb the peace?  The company has measured decibel levels. At their loudest (right next to them) they could approximate the level of a lawnmower; 30 feet away, the sound level is that of normal street noise; at 150 feet, the level is that of normal conversation.

Will they survive the winter outdoors?  Yes. They are winter-hardy and have been placed in parks in Utah, Colorado, Alaska and Minnesota.

When will they be installed?  We are working through the process with the City right now. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) has approved moving forward with this project and will host a neighborhood meeting in February or March to answer questions and provide for discussion before further action. Assuming approval, we would hope to have the instruments installed sometime this summer.

Anything else we should know?  On a related subject, we are ordering plantings to screen the west border and northwest corner of the playground. These will form a visual boundary and a natural play-space for little kids, and they should reduce sound for the neighbors.