Earlier in the day on Tuesday, April 30, I was passing by the Music Building when something in the corner of my eye caught my attention. There was a lone black metal conductor’s stand with sheet music at the edge of Turtle Pond, which had been recently drained by cleaning maintenance.
Something about it started to speak to me so I began to snap photos of it. Forgive me, I was just out of my contemporary art class and was in that sort of mindset.
Careful not to slip on the steep slope of the grassy lawn, I stepped into the soiled black tarp slowly as I walked towards the conductor’s stand. Thinking abstractly about space and location, I realized that the placement of the stand forced me to walk right into the pond in order to get a good look at the sheet music and even see what the title of the song is (“Zipperbeast Ritual Music”).
Since the pond had been emptied, it was no longer the same lovely resting place where Mills students could relax near and campus Mallards could use as a swimming pool. For the time being, it was essentially a dirt-streaked eyesore. So the conductor’s stand turned the temporarily discontinued Turtle Pond into a new place where music majors could practice playing somewhere unique.
I don’t think the musician who left their belongings there meant to create conceptual, public art. But it’s kind of cool to think otherwise.
(Note: The next day, the pond had been refilled with water)