The Green Monster will become a musical instrument for 1 day this fall

Its transformation is part of the city’s first HUBweek.

The Green Monster is a Boston icon. It’s an obstacle for baseball players and a familiar backdrop on Yawkey Way, but artists around the city are trying to change the way it’s seen. Or rather, heard.

Come October, Waking the Monster, a medley featuring local artists, will be played on the Green Monster itself. The musicians involved will scale and strike its metal exoskeleton to create a performance art piece.

Waking the Monster: Part One (story continues after video)

“We all bring a certain set of skills, but the real work is in listening and responding to that place…discussing, dreaming, expanding and editing,’’ said Ryan Edwards, a percussionist and composer. “We have a great team assembled for this effort and I believe we might just seduce something special out of this green monster.’’


Edwards, along with fellow percussionist and composer Maria Finkelmeier, visited Fenway Park to explore the different tones that their mallets and sticks could create by playing the Green Monster’s beams. Then, during a return visit, they identified parts of the structure they liked best and mapped it out to distribute to any composer.

Waking the Monster is just one piece that will comprise Illuminus, an event to showcase Boston arts that’s one of many in the city’s first innovation festival, HUBweek.

Last year, Illuminus took over SoWa in early October. It was met with rave reviews, and after the first year of hard work and sleepless nights, director Jeff Grantz—also the founder of production studio Materials and Methods—is back for another year, this time on Lansdowne Street.

“We’re allowing artists to transform spaces and have conversations and see the city as they would like to,’’ said Grantz.

Illuminus brings together artists across mediums, from multi-media projection and light installations to scaling the underbelly of the Green Monster. The Illuminus production team just issued an open call for submissions from artists looking to be involved.

“It’s really an opportunity to enable the artist community to show what it can do—to revel a little bit,’’ said Grantz. “We don’t often get opportunities of this scale and magnitude to present the world as we want to see it.’’

A scene from Illuminus in 2014. —The Boston Globe

Not only does Illuminus have a year of experience to inform it, but it also has more systematic support. This year, it will be one of the events included in HUBweek. It’s likely to be one of the most dynamic events, but the initiative aims to have something for everyone.

From October 3-10, Harvard, MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and The Boston Globe are partnering on the festival to showcase innovation in the region’s life science, higher education, technology, and art communities. It’s part summit, part street festival.

Renowned professor Michael Sandel will wax philosophic in Fenway Park. Other events include Let’s Talk About Food, Beautiful Brain, and the Beantown Throwdown.

Though the festival’s focus is Boston, there’s bound to be an international presence, because many of the events and initiatives resonate worldwide, according to Liz Paquette, head of marketing for HUBweek.

“The goal is to introduce people to new things,’’ said Paquette. “ We want to get people talking with each other and excited about what’s going on in the city.’’

Though many events are free, some still require registration in advance. Full registration opens September 9, but earlybird ticket sales for signature events began August 5.

“We’re looking for the feeling that something big happened, and a demand for more. That will mean we were successful,’’ said Paquette.

For more information on the schedule, tickets, and how to get involved, visit HUBweek’s website.

Related slideshow: Free museums in Boston and beyond

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