To be a jazz musician, says percussionist Antonio Sanchez, is to be comfortable being uncomfortable. “So whatever uncomfortable position I can put myself into,” he says, “is always appealing.” Sometimes this leads to an Grammy Award-winning collaboration with a celebrated filmmaker (Alejandro Iñárritu, and 2014’s Birdman), and sometimes it leads to The Ringling Museum, where contemporary artist Ezra Masch has transformed the Monda Gallery into his latest avenue for sight/sound exploration—Volumes. Blacking out the gallery and installing a site-specific 3D grid of responsive light towers, a five-piece drum set controls the illumination, creating a sculpture of light in space from volume and pitch. “It makes you play and think in an entirely different way,” says Sanchez, who visited the museum as one of four special performers during the exhibition’s limited run. “Contrast is key,” he continues. “You cannot have loud unless you have soft; you cannot have fast unless you have slow. And you cannot have light unless you have darkness.” 

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.