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Melissa McGill's 'Palmas' At Manitoga

Sarah LaDuke

    Manitoga in Garrison New York is a National Historic Site - it was the estate and modernist home of industrial designer Russel Wright.

The inspiring artistic space has a residency program and one of Manitoga’s 2014 Artists in Residence is Melissa McGill. Her work primarily incorporates drawing, sculpture, and sound to explore the space between absence and presence. Palmas is her work at Manitoga. It is a site-specific surround sound installation that activates Manitoga’s Quarry Pool and encircling paths by playing recordings of rhythmic clapping inspired by the clapping - the Palmas - of Flamenco music.

This Saturday, September 27 Melissa McGill’s Palmas performance with Flamenco y Sol Ensemble will build upon the sound installation’s theme as flamenco performers engage Manitoga’s landscape in a unique call and response, creating a dialogue with the rocks, the water and trees through song, music and dance.

Discussion of Constellation

Melissa is also working on Constellation - a sculpture and light installation at the Bannerman Castle ruin. We discussed that work and its progress.


Sarah has been a public radio producer for over a decade. She grew up in Saranac Lake, New York where she worked part-time at Pendragon Theatre all through high school and college. She graduated from UAlbany in 2006 with a BA in English and started at WAMC a few weeks later as a part-time board-op in the control room. Through a series of offered and seized opportunities she is now the Senior Contributing Producer of The Roundtable and Producer of The Book Show.
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