2201 Arapahoe St.
About This Piece
On Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, over one square mile area of downtown Denver, artists Jon Rubin and Lee Walton worked with the Bear Creek High School Marching Band to present “Playing Apart,” a one-of-a-kind musical event that dismantled an entire 90-piece marching band into single performers who collectively use the whole city as a playing field. Each band member started on a different corner and walked a specific route, collectively covering one-square mile of downtown Denver. Mimicking the experience of city life, band members intersected randomly in an unpredictable mash-up of instruments and sounds. Viewers throughout the city— sitting in cafes, walking the sidewalks and working in the offices, saw one band member after another passing by, like solitary pieces of a larger puzzle. The performance was both subtle and obvious, small and large. Disrupting and re-imagining the normal flow of the city, this project invited viewers to contemplate social and auditory patterns within the chaos of the city.
Jon Rubin is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores the social dynamics of public places and the idiosyncrasies of individual and group behavior. His projects include starting a radio station that only plays the sound of an extinct bird, training a hypnotized human robot army, operating a restaurant that produces a live talk show with its customers, and running an ongoing take-out joint that only sells food from countries the United States is in conflict with. Rubin’s project Thinking About Flying is currently at the MCA Denver, and consists of a group of young homing pigeons that are trained by museum’s visitors continually taking home the birds and releasing them to fly back to the loft on the museum’s roof.
Lee Walton is an artist who playfully questions the world we live in. His work takes many forms and often involves collaboration with numerous participants from artists and non-artists alike. Walton once played an entire round of golf by taking only one shot a day, competed in a season-long free throw competition with Shaquille O’Neal and started a competitive residency program inside an international supermarket.
The Bear Creek HS Instrumental Music program boasts one of the strongest music programs in the Jefferson County School District and in the state of Colorado. The Bear Creek HS Band as an all-inclusive program which is home to the Bear Creek HS Marching Band, a 2010 state finalist and a nine-time state semi-finalist. Bear Creek has one of the strongest percussion programs in the state. They are a four time World Class Percussion State Champions (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) and the two-time WGI World Concert Class Percussion National Finalist. The Winter Guard program has been a national finalist and is the 2010 RMCGA state Color Guard 3rd place champion and a 2011 state finalist. The Bear Creek Band has performed throughout the state, most recently with the Denver Brass and the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra.