Listen, play, and discover sound anew as you improvise with more than a dozen newly invented musical instruments in Sound Maze, an interactive installation created by composer and instrument inventor Paul Dresher in collaboration with Alex Vittum and Daniel Schmidt. 

Designed for all ages, all levels of musical experience, and all types of minds, this remarkable hands-on installation lets you experiment with extraordinary inventions to discover new ways of creating sound and music. Sound Maze is designed to unleash the musical creativity of everyone, rewarding the curious but musically inexperienced as well as those who have a lifelong engagement with sound and music.

Audiences of all abilities are welcome at Sound Maze, including people with disabilities, and adults and children on the Autism spectrum. This is a creative adventure and musical outing for everyone.

Sound Maze has seen successful presentations at the Esplanade in Singapore, UNC Chapel Hill, USC Fisher Museum of Art in Los Angeles, Mondavi Center at UC DavisOZ Art NashvilleFort Mason Center in San Francisco, and the Napa Valley Museum.  

"All the instruments/sound sculptures of The Sound Maze have been inspired by a curiosity about how sound is created.  

Most of the inventions start with a “What if…” question such as “What if we turned a metronome or pendulum into a giant musical instrument?” or “What would happen if we bowed a string with a mechanical wheel?” or “What if we created a way to pay a play pipe organ with mallets?” or “What if we put wood blocks on top of spring steel rods?”

Unlike traditional instruments, the instruments of The Sound Maze don’t require years of practice to create sound - one simply pushes, pulls, lifts or strikes some part of the invention that results in intriguing sound and motion."

— Paul Dresher


"One of the most interesting among the current scene of active composers."

San Francisco Classical Music Examiner


Download hi-res version here.

Download hi-res version here.

Download hi-res version here.


Photo by Mark Palmer. Download hi-res version here.

Photo by Chi Wang. Download hi-res version here.

Photo by Mark Palmer. Download hi-res version here.

Photo by Chi Wang. Download hi-res version here.

"Deep Listening at the Octagon" at Mondavi Center. Download hi-res version here.

"Hands on Hurdy Grande" at the Mondavi Center. Download hi-res version here.

"Organ & Big Wheel from deck" at the Mondavi Center. Download hi-res version here.

"Fence Marimba" at the Mondavi Center. Download hi-res version here.

"Organ & Big Wheel from above" at the Mondavi Center. Download hi-res version here.

Download hi-res version here.

Biographies:


"Paul Dresher... a sort of musical Thomas Edison, retreating into his lab together with inventing partner Daniel Schmidt to conjure up fantastical new instruments – industrial-strength dobros, deconstructed pipe organs, gargantuan metronomes and more."

The San Francisco Chronicle



Audio: Paul Dresher's Sound Maze on KQED's The California Report



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