About the Project

In November of 1976, Creative Time and the New York Landmarks Conservancy presented Max Neuhaus’s Round: Sound for Concave Surfaces in the rotunda of the U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green. The unusual acoustics of the elliptical marble space challenged Neuhaus to create an original work for the project, as the space itself was a primary component in determining the composition and final arrangement of the piece.


“I see traditional concert hall acoustics not as an ideal but as one very specific sound situation. I am interested in exploring others, such as the one which will be generated by the curved surfaces of the rotunda and which will be a basis for this work,” said Neuhaus. During a three day event, Neuhaus exploited the acoustics of the rotunda by generating a single fundamental pitch with various overtones circulating around the space via a ring of sixteen speakers, thereby creating a constant circular movement.


Photograph by Ruth Cummings.




Max Neuhaus

Round: Sound for Concave Surfaces