It seems that New York City has more cultural activities within reach than almost any city in the world, but few of New York’s art shows are as unexpectedly moving as the Dream House at the MELA Foundation. After ringing the buzzer—as if for an exclusive apartment function—visitors walk up three flights of steps where a Dream House employee greets guests, requests that they take off their shoes, suggests a $9 donation, and invites them to enter.
Inside is a hallway illuminated at both ends with a deep pink glow. A neon sign with the words “Dream House” written four times, each moving in a different direction, hangs on the ceiling above this entryway. A sound with the rhythm of a breath and the hums of a gong and didjeridoo flow throughout this otherworldly space at the Dream House at the MELA Foundation.
To the left down the hallway, the exhibit’s main room is lit with a darker, almost magenta color projected from black, theater-style lights hanging from the ceiling. The sounds continue, pulsating with a symmetrical echo. Artist LaMonte Young curated the noises by engineering the audio with specific frequencies tuned to a highly uncommon harmonic series. Young has said, in regards to his sound, that it is, “unlikely that anyone has ever worked with these intervals before, it is also highly unlikely that anyone has heard them or perhaps even imagined the feelings they create.”
Sitting in the Dream House at the MELA Foundation is a one of a kind experience. Pillows are strewn across the floor, while abstract art installations featuring simple geometric patterns line the walls. In the main room sits a small shrine to Pandit Pran Nath, an Indian composer of classical raga compositions who founded the Dream House.
This piece of Tribeca culture is a place to sit, meditate, and just be. Close your eyes and focus on the transient sounds, but be sure to look through neon tinted windows before leaving. You’ll see a purple Tribeca waiting to be explored.
275 Church Street
New York, NY 10013
Open Wednesday – Saturday, 2pm-12am
More info: www.melafoundation.org