Sound Crawl

In 2015, Metro Arts commissioned seven Nashville-based artists to create a literary, musical or sound work inspired by a public art work. Listen to each of those works below. 

Catherine Moore (poet) 

Inspired by: Liquid 615, (Watermarks Series), Artist Michael Allison, 2012. Blue glass, LED lighting, galvanized metal. Antioch Community Center. 

Moore wrote a lyrical essay titled Wasioto which is inspired by Liquid 615. Wasioto ‘wah- see-OH-tuh' was the Native American name for the Cumberland River.  Moore’s Wasioto is part poetry, part narrative braided with separate ideas and voices. It opens with the river’s voice, then structured by named river stages, is a weaving of the spiritual and the visceral.  

Moore’s work appears in the Tahoma Literary Review, Southeast Review, Cider Press Review and the Southampton Review. She is the winner of the Southeast Review’s 2014 Gearhart Poetry Prize.

Press the play button below to hear Moore read Wasioto

Chance Chambers (poet) 

Inspired by: On Air (Bike Rack), Artists: Samantha Griffith and Jen Pellerin, 2012. Steel, square tubing, rebar.  Morgan Park.

Chambers' poem White Noise, Black Sky is inspired by On Air. White Noise, Black Sky is about the power of broadcast radio and its ability to connect remote parts of our world and unify listeners through music.  

Chambers has won numerous awards for his poetry and works of short fiction and has been published in the anthologies Muscadine Lines: A Southern Anthology and Gathering: Writers of Williamson County.

Press the play button below to hear Chambers read White Noise, Black Sky

Christopher Farrell (composer/musician)

Inspired by: Thread and Needle (28th Avenue Connector Bridge), Artist David Dahlquist, 2012. Steel plate quilt patterns. Needle (Transit Shelter), steel and stainless steel. 

Farrell created a musical composition for a flute, viola and harp trio titled Needle and Thread Now which is inspired by Thread and Needle. The same way Thread and Needle connects two diverse communities, the diverse instruments of the ensemble each present independent “threads” which Farrell wove together to create one cohesive musical story. 

Farrell has been a violist with the Nashville Symphony for 16 years and debuted as a composer in 2013 with the ALIAS Chamber Ensemble.

Press the three play buttons below to hear Farrell's composition. 

Joe Nolan (singer/songwriter) 

Inspired by Reflection, Artist Lawrence Argent, 2012. Black granite, stainless steel. Granite Wall. Shelby Park. 

Nolan wrote and performed the song Rocking Mockingbird about Tennessee’s “song stealing” state bird. The song combines bluegrass sounds with rockabilly rhythm and features the English tin whistle, speaking to the Appalachian origins of country music. 

Nolan’s music has been spotlighted by international radio programs such as NPR’s Acoustic Cafe and in publications like Vintage Guitar Magazine, and Los Angeles Daily News.

Press the play button below to hear Nolan's Rocking Mockingbird

Robbie Lynn Hunsinger (sound artist) 

Inspired by Tool Fire, (Watermarks Series), Artist Christopher Fennell, 2013. Welded metal hand tools, metal pipe. Shelby Bottoms Park.

Hunsinger “played” the trowels, shovels and rakes of Tool Fire transforming the sculpture itself into an instrument. The sounds produced by the sculpture were recorded and used to create the structure for the composition about the 2010 flood. 

Hunsinger is an award-winning new media artist, composer, maker, and multi-instrumentalist. Her installations have been exhibited at the Frist Center for Visual Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. 

Press the play button below to hear Hunsinger's composition. 

William Moon (composer/musician) 

Inspired by Emergence (Watermarks Series), Buddy Jackson, 2012. Cast water-impermeable concrete, powdered pigments. Hartman Park.

Moon created a musical composition inspired by Emergence. Moon has more than 40 years of experience as a professional musician, composer, conductor and educator. He has taught orchestration, music theory, ear training, counterpoint, conducting, instrumental methods, applied woodwinds, and Jazz ensemble at Fisk University, West Virginia University and W.O. Smith Community Music School. 

Press the play button below to hear Moon's composition.

Sara Estes (writer)

Inspired by Light Meander, Artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, 2015. Stainless steel, LED lighting, hardwood, guitar picks. Riverfront Park.

Sara Estes boated down the Cumberland River to write the short story, “The River Looks Back”. Her story, which uses her boating observations and themes found within the public artwork such as motion and reflection, is inspired by the light cast by the river in the day and night. 

Estes is the lead visual arts writer for the Tennessean and author of a weekly column in the Atlanta-based arts publication BURNAWAY.

Click on the link below to read her short story.

This project was supported by the Bonnaroo Works Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the Metro Arts Public Art Program.