TIMES SQUARE — A heart-shaped sculpture that glows to the rhythm of a heartbeat and encourages visitors to bang out their own ballads was unveiled at Father Duffy Square on Monday, just days before Valentine’s Day.
The sculpture, named HeartBeat and described by its designers as an "urban drum,” incorporates six instruments including a xylophone and a South American drum called a tumbadora, on which visitors can create their own melodies.
“We used several percussion instruments that all make distinct sounds — a Latin sound, a rock sound, an electric sound,” said Sara Valente, who created the sculpture with her husband Marcelo Ertorteguy, with whom she also founded the Brooklyn-based art company Stereotank.
"It’s like a melting pot of heartbeat sounds, just like New York City."
The 9-by-6-foot interactive sculpture naturally produces a deep heartbeat sound, but as soon as visitors start playing, the beat stops so people can hear the melody they produce, Valente explained.
“It engages you for a longer time, there is not that museum fatigue," said Julia Waters from Cortlandt Manor, who was trying out the sculpture’s drums with her three kids on Monday. "You can actually play with it, it’s kind of fun,”
The piece of art, which will remain on display until March 8, also features lighting effects that go on and off in rhythm with the sounds produced.