Benjamin J Mansavage Klein - the header image

A Wunderkammer for the New Year

In the upcoming year, I will teach music theory and composition at Lawrence University.   I am very excited to be back at the school where I completed my undergraduate degree, working some very important mentors of mine once again, particularly Joanne Metcalf, Gene Biringer, Matt Turner, and Marty Erickson. I also look forward to the opportunity of working with new colleagues, especially Asha Srinivasan and Andrew Cole. I am anxiously looking forward to working with the students here, advising them in their creative endeavors as well.

In my own creative pursuits, it has always been important to me to make the space in which I create special in some way.   I see my office here at Lawrence as that space.  In order to activate this creative space, I have set up a Wunderkammer on my bookshelf.  Here is a picture:


My Wunderkammer contains objects that have personal significance for me. I find that reflecting on objects like these help to spark new ideas, or help my relax by meditating on the memory that an object might evoke.  Here is a list of what my Wunderkammer contains:

  • 4 glass containers holding folded metal and small pieces of hardware, these were used in my installation Voicebox
  • 2 tuba mouthpieces, and 2 trombone mouthpieces
  • 5 small music boxes
  • A programmable Sankyo music box with accompanying paper, purchased at the Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement in Utrecht
  • A tin-type portrait of my tuba and me, taken at a concert in Minneapolis
  • Pieces of metal that I used to build my sculpture Rotting Fruit
  • A sketch that I completed in Tokyo
  • A clipboard I used when I worked for the Census in 2010
  • A piece of smoothed glass taken from the ocean in Uruguay by Marcelo Rilla
  • An electric motor given to me by Diane Willow
  • A choir stole made for me by Leah Bergman for the wedding of Matt Roen and Tony Spain
  • A fan and coin purse given to me by Akiko Hatakeyama
  • A Unidyne dynamic microphone, I found while working at the Holy Family School in Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  • A Stylophone given to me by Myer Nore
  • Illustrated library catalog cards completed in Hartford
  • A note written to me by the pastor of the English Reformed Church of Amsterdam
  • My conducting baton
  • Marker sketches for composition
  • A christmas card from my Grandfather, Hilbert Klein
  • A clam shell found on Cape Cod
  • A square piece of quartz collected from Moon Lake, Wisconsin
  • A ring cast by my father, James Klein
  • An anonymous sketch of me playing tuba in London
  • A rivet head collected while working at Robodock 2005 in Amsterdam
  • A patch for the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers given to me by Barry Schwartz

Incidentally To the Best of Our Knowledge recently broadcasted a show that focused on collections like mine.


Welcome to the new

Here, you will find updates regarding upcoming concerts and events, as well as information about ongoing projects. You can also explore my work by following the Works link above, and learn a little bit about me by following the Biography link.