Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Playing the Building

This summer saw the installation of David Byrne's 'Victorian steam-punk' sound experiment 'Playing the Building' launch in London after a run in New York's Battery Maritime Building in 2008. Set in Camden's historic 'Roundhouse', the former steam engine repair shed, was transformed into a giant musical instrument, played by a steady queue of volunteers.

Quoting Byrne's original proposal: "To create this, various devices are attached to parts of the building structure - to the metal beams, the plumbing, the electrical conduits, the heating pipes, the water pipes - and are used to make these things produce sound. No amplification is used, no computer synthesis of sound, and there are no speakers. The machines will produce sound in three ways: through wind, vibration and striking. The devices that are part of the piece do not produce sound on their own, but instead they cause the building elements themselves to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument."

No comments:

Post a Comment