Kendall Band

1987

Aluminum, Stainless Steel

 

An interactive 3-part musical sculpture – Pythagoras, Kepler and Galileo – was installed in the center of Kendall Square MBTA station in 1987.  Passengers waiting for trains activate the 3 sculptures by pulling levers on both sides of the platform, filling the cavernous tunnel with resonating harmonies. 

 

Pythagoras

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A 50’ row of 16 perfectly tuned B minor musical bells, suspended between the train tracks, and interspersed by 14 long hammers.  Visitors ring the bells by activating the hammers to swing back and forth, thus striking the tubes.

Kepler

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Suspended in an arch between the two tracks is a 55” diameter machined-aluminum ring.  A triple-headed hammer strikes the ring when a handle on the subway wall has been pulled, producing an F sharp note which rings throughout the station, a perfect 5th to complement Pythagoras’ B minor chimes.  Kepler will resound up to 5 minutes after it has been struck.

Galileo

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A “thunder sheet” of stainless steel produces a “musical thunder” which reverberates throughout the subway tunnel.


Kendall Band Preservation Society

In 2010, a group of MIT students formed the Kendall Band Preservation Society and over the last few years have dismantled, refurbished and restored the Kendall Band to its former glory.