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Bklyn Artists Drum Up Funds to Build Giant Music Box for Governors Island

By Janet Upadhye | April 29, 2013 9:39am | Updated on April 29, 2013 10:08am

CLINTON HILL — A trio of Brooklyn artists are trying to drum up some funds to create a giant music box for Governors Island.

Brooklyn artists Artists Ashley Goeller, 19, Kelly Goeller, 26, and Geddes Levenson, 26, have a plan for a sculpture that is set to appear as part of the annual Figment participatory art show. The festival hosts over 400 works of art on the small island in the East River, and kicks off June 8.

"The idea came to us from this tiny music box my mom gave me," Goeller said. "We were inspired to re-create it on a larger scale."

The sculpture, made of steel and wood, has a keyboard and handles that allow two users to crank out original music from small pegs hitting metal keys. The working artists, who each have backgrounds in music, harken back to a time when music was created more simply.

"Music nowadays is listened to with headphones and ipods and often created on laptops," Goeller said. "Our interactive sculpture puts the creation of a song directly in the users' hands."

Figment engineers approved their idea and funded half of the production costs. But the artists still need to raise money for steel casing, welding stock, and crank shafts. Plus, they need to rent a van to transport the life-sized sculpture onto the island.

So Goeller, Goeller and Geddes launched a Kickstarter page on April 25, with which they hope to raise $3,500 for the project. They've already raised $1,000 in the first two days of its existence. They are hopeful that the rest will come in in time for the opening weekend.

"We want a child, who may have grown up knowing only digital music, to make a song out of steel," said Goeller. 

Check out their Kickstarter page here.