Spotlight: Urban Sounds as Muse

Spotlight: Urban Sounds as Muse

Date Published:
Friday, August 31, 2012

UNC Charlotte student Evan Danchenka has two passions: music and architecture. As an Artist-in-Residence this summer at the McColl Center, he lugged his recording equipment to the railways of several U.S. cities for his exhibit, TransSound Plaza.

One of the 14 inaugural Levine Scholars, Danchenka is the first undergraduate from the University to hold the position at the nationally acclaimed contemporary art center in downtown Charlotte.

His exhibit, TranSound Plaza, was on display in late July at the McColl Center’s Gallery Reception. He’s also been blogging about his experience. A native of Harrisburg, N.C., Danchenka is an undergraduate in the School of Architecture.

TranSound Plaza is a merged-media exhibit featuring music and film derived from the transit lines in six American cities: Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh; Boston; Chicago; New York; and San Francisco. Presented as a 30-minute sensual experience, TranSound Plaza integrates recordings of transit sounds with originally composed music while three projectors work in unison to cast a vibrant film montage. Audience members take a comparative trip across the unique urban systems of subways, elevated rails, cable cars, streetcars, and metros.

TranSound Plaza integrates recordings of transit sounds with originally composed music while three projectors work in unison to cast a vibrant film montage.

Danchenka has a breadth of volunteer and leadership experience with organizations including the Carolina Thread Trail, Mint Museum of Art, and the National Outdoor Leadership School. As part of the Levine Scholars Program, he was awarded a service grant to design a project which engaged the community and included elements of professional development.

"That means using my background in architecture and music," he wrote in his blog. "I brought my ideas to McColl Center for Visual Art and was offered this space, so now I am here working with the Levine Scholar’s grant while fulfilling my internship."

"There is a lot of musical interplay there, with the pitches, tones, rhythms and some of the melodies of the trains squeaking on the rails," he wrote. "When the public experiences it they will get a better sense of their environment around them."