The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach partnered with the Interactive Music Museum in Malaga, Spain, to bring the musical installation of “Loving Beethoven,” to the United States for the first time. An opening reception was held March 6 to celebrate.
Created by MIMMA’s design team, the “immersive” installation, open until May 26, features five life-sized orbs that change in color and vibration to the rhythm and intensity of classical music composed by Ludwig van Beethoven.
The reception featured culinary treats and drinks.
“These are some good olives,” said Richey Smith of the goodies laid out by Let’s Cheese, Trasca & Co. Eatery and Savory Sensations.
A member and supporter of the Cultural Center with his wife Sandra, Smith said they spend their time living between Ohio and Ponte Vedra and happened to be in town for the grand opening.
“We don’t really know what to expect,” Sandra Smith said, “but we have a lot of classical music in Ohio and we’ve been supporters of the center for a long time.”
After a time for socializing, the center’s executive director Donna Guzzo welcomed everyone with a warm smile and thanked them for coming.
“It’s so exciting to have you all here tonight and to have you experience something so unique to our area,” Guzzo said. “For the first time, not just here at the cultural center, but here in the United States.”
She thanked the dignitaries, sponsors and supporters of the center and the installation, with special accolades to Monica Jacoby, who was Guzzo’s inspiration for bringing the installation to life in Ponte Vedra Beach, and to John Regan and his wife, Felicia, who helped make the dream a reality.
“This man made the introduction to make this installation happen,” Guzzo said of MIMMA museum director Miguel Angel Piedrola, who flew in from Malaga a little less than a year ago to discuss the project, and then returned for the grand opening that evening.
“This installation demonstrates that music can be perceived not only through the ear, but also through sight and through touch,” Piedrola said, explaining the story behind the installation and how it pays homage to Beethoven and his 250th birthday.
“There are many people who are unable to enjoy music through one sense but are able to still enjoy and appreciate it through other senses,” he said. “Music is rhythm and you’re going to be able to see rhythm with the changing lights [and vibrations].”
As the music faded in, guests, hesitant at first, slowly inched toward the giant, glowing orbs, ever changing from blue to green to pink and onward, matching the rhythm, beats and intensity of Beethoven’s classics.
Guests moved closer and closer, immersing themselves and all their senses.
Then, when the music faded out, a small accompanying workshop station was available in the corner for guests and children to interact with, featuring different instruments, sounds and vibrations.
“It’s not what I expected,” Sandra Smith said afterward. “But it’s very interesting, the way you could feel each sound through orb. It was less emphasis on the sound and more on the touch.”
Piedrola explained that the installation was created for people of all ages, whether or not they were familiar with Beethoven.
With the installation “children have the opportunity to get to know and enjoy his music,” Piedrola said. “Because what you do not know, you cannot yet love.”
“Loving Beethoven” will be open to the public until May 26 at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach. Admission is $5.
For more information, visit www.ccpvb.org. The Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra Beach is located at 50 Executive Way in Ponte Vedra Beach.