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On the Bright Side

July 3, 2013

Area exhibit features both sights, sounds

ROXBURY — Ed Potokar straddles two worlds as an artist — music and sculpture — and so it shouldn’t be surprising that a visit to one of his shows turns out to be a feast for both the ears and the eyes.

A sampling of his novel stringed instruments and percussive room sculptures will go on exhibit beginning Friday evening at the Orphic Gallery at 53525 State Highway 30, Roxbury.

The exhibit — called “POTOPHONICS” — will run through Aug. 25.

For the opening celebration — scheduled to run from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday — Potokar will also perform with some members of the group Audio Artists and other musicians.

There will also be impromptu demonstrations of the unusual instruments he designs at his workshop in the Catskills.

Potokar said he began experimenting with instrument designs while he was an industrial design student at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Now 54, he is an accomplished musical producer n his own right. He founded MUSIC FOR TV in Manhattan in 1990 and went on to write the theme music for the MTV show “Unplugged.”

“I was part of the whole session scene,” he said. “I wrote music for television for many, many years.”

As for the eclectic instruments he creates, Potokar said, “I try to make them — for lack of a better term — works of art first. I’m very much into alternative sounds. I think we have enough guitars made in Mexico and China. It’s more of a quest for me to come up with something that sounds different. And then take on the aesthetic thing, which I sometimes find neglected. That’s kind of my directive - and, of course, having fun.”

When professional musicians pick up his instruments for the first time, he said, it doesn’t take them long to figure out how to get the sounds they want out of the devices. “They just have the tendency to be able to pick up anything and get something out of it,” he said. “They are just musical. I really like passing these things off to musicians and see what they do with it and how they become proficient on it.”

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On the Bright Side

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