Public Drums

Public Drums
Public Drums bring out the jamz!
Public Drums
Encourages collaboration and social interaction.
Public Drums
Rugged, strong and made to last.
Public Drums
Detail of the electronic drum head.
Public Drums
Powerfully illuminated at night.
Public Drums
Fun for all ages.
  • In →
  • Interactive,
  • LED,
  • Outdoor

Public Drums is an interactive sound-producing sculpture commissioned for a troubled park in Tucson. The park was known in the community as a location where criminals shot out streetlights, dealt drugs, and chased away children. To create this piece, we met with community members and visited the site at different times throughout the day and night. The goal was to create an illuminated sculpture that invited play and filled the park with the friendly sounds of music.

Public Drums was designed as a sophisticated yet rugged musical instrument clad entirely with bulletproof polycarbonate. The piece encourages individual performance and positive group interaction. By tapping the four metal circles on the head of the drum, people can play different sounds. There is also a knob that users can turn to change the pitch of the sounds they are playing thereby creating a simple beat or complex compositions. Finally, the internal lighting changes color when visitors move the pitch wheel to create a dynamic viewing experience.

completed, 2008

21" x 21" x 30"

bulletproof polycarbonate, LED lighting, touch sensitive electronics, sounds

Tucson, AZ

Commissioning Agency:
Tucson Pima Arts Council

Joe O'Connell