Adrianne Zahner declined to close the door to the 500-gallon propane tank turned yellow submarine with her in it. But other than that, the Newcastle woman and daughter Noa Burchesky, 15, were all in, for climbing inside it and sitting making sounds with mallets.
“That was thrilling! Thank you,” Zahner told the steel chamber’s creator, sound practitioner Jim Doble. He told her she and her daughter did a nice duet. What was it like in there? “It was very,” Burchesky paused. “Resonant,” her mother answered. “Resonant,” Burchesky agreed, smiling. They were all at the first Wiscasset Art Walk of the year, June 30 downtown.
Doble said the sounds can represent whatever their maker hears in them. Mother and daughter said theirs sounded like a submarine’s sonar. Zahner shared one other observation: “It was really neat to feel the sound through your body, because you’re sitting on the metal that’s vibrating. So it’s very cool.”
This form of meditation or sound therapy is huge on the West Coast and is growing, Doble said.
Other sounds, Celtic ones, were being made on the other side of Main Street, by Lewiston’s Lynn Cummings on a German-made, Irish drum called a bodhran, husband Forest Weston on a dord, an Irish instrument, his made of copper, bronze and brass and patterned after one in a Dublin museum, and Topsham’s Heather MacLeod on penniwhistle.
MacLeod was performing solo that night, met the couple and was playing a song with them. “It doesn’t take long to become friends, because the Celtic tradition is an ancient one and you’re bound to find some tunes that you both know.” She played the art walk last year and returned this year because organizer Lucia Droby invited her back, she loves to play the penniwhistle, and wanted to support a community event when she feels they are especially needed. “I think music and community, and folks gathering and sharing, are important at any time but especially with the world going through such upheaval, I think it’s important to be able to share something … and music makes people feel good.”
Also citing community was attendee Steve Graffam of Wiscasset, holding a bouquet he bought for wife Colleen from Garden Club of Wiscasset’s table as he always does at the art walks. “We feel as though the artwork brings the community together, and it’s all about knowing your neighbors. It’s great for the tourism and the stores, but I think it’s more important for the community, to have a place to go and do things,” like the concert up the hill that night, on the common, he said.
Merrymeeting Adult Education’s Catherine Scanlon and Jose Rodriguez were promoting its programs, viewable at merrymeeting.maineadulted.org, and inviting event goers to help paint a work Scanlon drew. It will go up in MAE’s office, Scanlon said.