The Oklahoma City Community Foundation is combining motion with melody through a unique art project traveling through downtown Oklahoma City, Sept. 20-Oct. 13. The Musical Swings, located in Bicentennial Park at 500 Couch Dr. – east of the Oklahoma City Civic Center – are free and open to the public as a gift from the Community Foundation in celebration of its 50th anniversary.
“We’re excited to offer this experience to our community,” said Nancy Anthony, Oklahoma City Community Foundation president. “The music, collaboration and childlike joy of playing on a swing will enrich the family atmosphere of downtown Oklahoma City, and we hope people will enjoy it.”
The Musical Swings appear similar to a large swing set that might be found in a public park, but they are much more than that. Created by Montreal-based design studio Daily Tous Les Jours, the Musical Swings produce sounds of the piano, harp, guitar and vibraphone as each swing moves back and forth. As the swings move in synchronicity, they maintain rhythms and create a concert of complex melodies.
“It’s essentially a giant collective instrument that aims to get people out in public space interacting and cooperating together,” product and environment designer for Daily Tous Les Jours Rebecca Taylor said.
Since opening Sept. 20, the Musical Swings have attracted people of all ages. Designed as an interactive, art installation, Taylor says the Swings are intended to take the playful nature of swings to create a unique, collaborative experience to break down social barriers that often exist in public spaces.
“It’s a really cool and fun experience for our students,” said McKenzie McCall, a John Rex Charter Elementary School teacher who was visiting the swings with her fifth-grade class. “We’re a downtown school, and it’s cool to have this so close.”
Learn more about the Musical Swings’ stay in Oklahoma City and find a complete schedule of activities at occf.org/musicalswings.