Public Art: Breathing Pavilion Features Weekly Live Music Series In Downtown Brooklyn

Melanie Charles performing at the Breathing Pavilion. (Image: Argenis Apollinario/Downtown Brooklyn Partnership)

The normally bustling plaza at 300 Ashland Place is now a place for quiet introspection.

That’s thanks to a weekly live music series presented by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership in collaboration with Van Alen Institute, with support from Two Trees Management.

The free series, which takes place on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm, features wind and percussion jazz musicians playing off Breathing Pavilion, a recently installed immersive art installation by Ekene Ijeoma designed to “promote interconnectedness and self-reflection.”

Breathing Pavilion is a circle of 20 nine-foot columns with lights that slowly modulate to encourage relaxation-inducing deep breathing. Attendees are invited to breathe in time with the changing light and attune themselves to “a shared rhythm of respite.”

When the installation was first unveiled last month, Ijeoma described it as a chance to “find the time and space to breathe deeply and rest well” amidst the devastating coronavirus pandemic and political struggles over racial equality.

Breathing Pavillion (Image: Kris Graves/Downtown Brooklyn Partnership)

The solo musicians featured at the weekly series will build off the calming energy emanating from the installation. The series kicked off with performances from trombonist Kalia Vandever and flutist Melanie Charles.

Tomorrow, the plaza will play host to vibraphonist-composer Joel Ross, whose music the publication Downbeat described as “consistent currents of electricity, high-powered and full of luminous energy.

Of course, pandemic protocols are still in effect: the Partnership is asking attendees to maintain a minimum of 6 feet from others and wear a mask at all times.

The full schedule of performances is listed below. Breathing Pavilion itself, meanwhile, is open from 12:00 to 8:00 pm daily, and if you’d like to schedule a time to meditate at the site, you can do so here.

  • 4/6: Joel Ross, Vibraphone
  • 4/13: Baba Don Babatunde, Percussion
  • 4/20: Neil Clarke, Percussion
  • 4/27: Lakecia Benjamin, Saxophone
  • 5/4: Participatory Drum Circle led by the Brooklyn Music School
  • 5/8: Keyon Harrold, Trumpet

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Billy Richling

Billy Richling

Billy Richling is a staff reporter for Bklyner, covering politics, real estate and everything else. He lives in Flatbush, and previously worked as Constituent & Communications Manager for the Times Square Alliance. Talk to him about baseball, buses and bagels.

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