Elevator Music 44: Joel Mellin—Imbrialis

Elevator Music 44: Joel Mellin—Imbrialis invites visitors to engage the poetics of a thunderstorm in an elevator. The thunderstorm is generated by Mellin’s custom computer code that calculates, organizes, and realizes the pitched raindrops of a storm. Each time the program performs the piece, a different version of the storm unfolds, which visitors will see as a scrolling score on a monitor. Visitors are also invited to toss a stone into a metal drum in the center of the elevator, creating a unique musical sequence that will join the sound of rain and thunder in the elevator. As melodies are created and then fade away, we are left to consider the scale of our actions, their impact on ourselves and others, and how we are changed by the storm. When the storm recedes, what’s left in our memory?

Imbrialis, meaning “of or relating to rain, rainy,” is presented in conjunction with the Skidmore Theater production of Eurydice, a play by Sarah Ruhl that reinterprets the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, from Eurydice’s perspective. Shuttled between Earth and the underworld by a rainy elevator—one whose Lethean water erases memory and language—the characters in Ruhl’s play grapple with love and loss, knowing and losing one’s self, and difficult, painful choices.

Joel Mellin is a composer, musician, sound artist, installation artist, visual artist, and instrument builder. To help connect musical artists to other creative media projects through innovative online licensing tools, Mellin founded the non-profit arts charity Waxfruit Arts Media, Inc. with his brother, Jeff Mellin. The pair also founded the underground pop-friendly label Stereorrific Recordings, the more experimental imprint Musique Impossible, and have collaborated on countless web-based projects utilizing Mellin’s early content management system for artists. Mellin is the 2017 recipient of the American Composers Forum’s Jerome Fund for New Music. His work has been performed at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; the Princeton Festival, Princeton, New Jersey; The Kitchen, New York, New York; Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, New York; and the Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin, Ireland, among others.
Exhibition Name
Elevator Music 44: Joel Mellin—Imbrialis
Exhibition Type
Solo Exhibitions
Elevator Music Series
Oct 8 - Dec 4
Joel Mellin – Imbrialis is organized by Jared Klein, Theater Department, Skidmore College; and Rachel Seligman, Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Malloy Curator, Tang Museum.
Joel Mellin
Pattern by Monica Andrews '19
Inspired by the exhibition 3-D Doings: The Imagist Object in Chicago Art, 1964-1980
The Tang Pattern Project celebrates the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Head of Design Jean Tschanz-Egger, past and current Tang Design Interns created patterns inspired by the Museum’s exhibition and event history.