2004, Hyattsville Justice Center
This piece is Janney’s response to the heritage and history of Hyattsville, MD. It was commissioned by Prince Georges County Art in Public Places Program and is the result of the competition won by the artist in 2002.
This interactive performance sculpture creates a “sonic portrait” of Prince George’s County. It is composed of 5 colorful independent 9ft horn instrument forms spaced so people can walk among them. A map of the County is embedded in the instruments. There are a series of “hand plates” that when touched illuminate and the instruments play a sound or group of sounds from a “sound bank” — a combination of environmental, historical and melodic sounds significant to the County and its impact on the region. A County-specific riddle is engraved on a stainless steel plaque at the center of the sculpture. When the riddle is deciphered and “hand plates” are touched in the correct pattern, the instruments will play a saxophone “short” in reply. The sculpture is lit from dusk to dawn.
Back to the old jail, listen for the key,
Weave a path through Hyattsville history
Touch each hand along the way
Then step in, and listen how the horns play.