Christian Frederickson’s The Hammer and the Feather

2020-21 Fay Chandler Creativity Grant

Exploring the sonic poetry of gravity

About the Project

The Hammer and the Feather, an immersive audio and visual installation, takes its name from the experiment performed on Earth’s moon by U.S. astronaut David Scott, which proved Galileo’s assertion that gravity exerts equal force on all objects. Developed at MIT by technical instructor Christian Frederickson and visual artist and filmmaker Greg King, The Hammer and the Feather uses the architecture of the liturgical mass as a structural and conceptual framework to create a contemplative and spiritual environment where audience participants can connect with large questions and pursue their own inquiries into the nature of existence. Bridging humanistic and scientific inquiry, the piece uses gravity as a poetic and conceptual departure point for musical, visual, and sonic material.


Upcoming Events

The Hammer and the Feather
December 2021
MIT Theater Arts Building, W97
345 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA
More details coming soon


Greg King is an award-winning filmmaker, artist, and musician based out of Los Angeles, California, although he is quick to add that he hails from Louisville, Kentucky. His directing work spans documentary films, narrative shorts, experimental art films, music videos, and non-profit promos. His films have played such festivals as Hot Docs, Edinburgh, Ann Arbor, Rooftop, deadCenter, and the Brooklyn Film Festival, and his visual art has been exhibited across the country in numerous galleries, artist-run spaces, and museums.

King was the recipient of an NEA/Regional Artist Fellowship, an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant, a Harvey Fellowship, and a Jerome Foundation Grant, among other accolades. King was a member of the indie-classical ensemble Rachel’s, and toured with the band from 1995 to 2006 across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

More at the artist’s website: Greg King.


Christian Frederickson is a violist, composer, and sound designer who specializes in live music performance for theater and dance. He has worked at a long list of theaters in New York City, notably the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Classic Stage Company, La MaMa, and Playwright’s Horizons, as well as at regional theaters around the United States.

Frederickson was a founding member of the instrumental band Rachel’s, which released six albums between 1995 and 2003. An ensemble of viola, cello, piano, guitar, drums, and percussion was surrounded by other orchestral instruments, tape manipulation, cinematic sound design, found sounds, and electronic elements. As a solo artist, Frederickson has released seven albums since 2011: Bastard, Amidst, and Custodians of Beauty are scores for contemporary dance; Death Metal Angola is the score for a documentary film about rock music in Angola; Teratogeny, The Starving Season, and Islands of Light are collections of music from various projects.

Frederickson holds a Bachelor of Music in performance from The Peabody Conservatory and a Master of Music from The Juilliard School. 

More about the artist at: MIT Music and Theater Arts