Penn Avenue
June 26
4 — 6 p.m.

Throughout history composers have rewritten the book on the standard three-minute pop song—cue Pink Floyd’s 26-minute “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” or John Cage’s groundbreaking “four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence.”

Continuing this spirit of sonic experimentation, Pittsburgh-based multimedia artist Jennifer Nagle Myers has created The Long Song, one piece of music that literally stretches out over one mile along city streets. Premiering this Sunday, June 26, the site-specific musical work will feature 21 performers (and counting!) and will occupy Penn Avenue between Highland Avenue and Main Street in Pittsburgh’s East End.

How does it work? An artist will be stationed at each corner along Penn—where they will sing, play or perform one original verse composed by Myers. Performers are free to interpret the score (lyrics) in any way they choose, and the end result will become an “unrehearsed, collaborative, brand new work that can take many variations and forms.”

Equals parts musical song, performance art, street theater, film scene, public art and urban stroll—all rolled into one ephemeral happening—The Long Song can be experienced by the public in multiple ways. Audiences may start their experience at Highland and Penn and then walk the length of the mile, can opt to visit the work in sections, or can begin at the end and make their way to the beginning. Anything goes as far as engaging with this open-air song, and that includes walking backwards, skipping or jumping rope. Attendees may also join a tour of The Long Song led by artists from BOOM Concepts, which will start at 4:15 p.m.

Featured performers include Sean Beauford, Anqwenique Wingfield, Vanessa German, Gizelxanath, DS Kinsel, Julie Mallis, Roberta Guido, Oreen Cohen, Celeste Neuhaus, and many more.

Don’t miss the after-party celebration featuring open mic sets from 7 to 9 p.m. at BOOM Concepts in Garfield.

Looking for more events? Read our NEXTravaganza! 20 can’t-miss Pittsburgh events & concerts in June and our Top 10 things for families to do in June in Pittsburgh features.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.