When stuffy classical music doesn't work for you, make your own instrument. Artist Paul Dresher did exactly that.
Dresher is a composer and musician who has been inventing his own musical instruments since high school. His love of all things musical is loud and clear at his latest exhibit at the Napa Valley Museum, called "Sound Maze."
"Sound Maze" doesn't look or sound like anything you're used to seeing at a museum. In the center of the exhibit, a massive 17-foot metal pendulum swings, hitting vintage school bells on one side and snare drums on the other. Nearby, a metal hula hoop spins and clatters to the floor. In the back of the room, a silver pipe organ, its pipes tied together with string, blares.
Everything in the Sound Maze is meant to be pressed, spun, strummed, knocked and played by everybody, no matter their musical talent, said Dresher.
"When you put some energy into them, the instruments play themselves," he said. "That's part of the idea of this installation. You don’t have to a skilled musician or practice for years to get interesting sonic results."
It's 7-year-old Lily Gutierrez's first time at "Sound Maze" -- and her first time at any museum, ever -- and she's ready for her turn at the "Big Wheel."