Not signed in (Sign In)
  1.  (2215.1)

    As an architect of the legendary Talking Heads, David Byrne once offered up an album called More Songs About Buildings and Food. These days, he's tripping into architecture and turning a building into food for the ears. I think I just stopped making sense.

    Let's start over. Starting May 31, visitors to New York's Battery Maritime Building will be able to take part in Byrne's interactive music installation called simply "Playing the Building." Like its self-explanatory title implies, the Battery will be fitted with devices that will allow visitors to make music off of the piping, pillars and more. It's an interesting way to view the structures we take for granted in everyday life. According to Byrne, it could be the future of music itself.

    "I'd like to say that in a small way it turns consumers into creative producers," Byrne explains on his official site, "but that might be a bit too much to claim. However, even if one doesn't play the thing, it points toward a less mediated kind of cultural experience. It might be an experience in which one begins to reexamine one's surroundings and to realize that culture -- of which sound and music are parts -- doesn't always have to be produced by professionals and packaged in a consumable form.

    "I'm not suggesting people abandon musical instruments and start playing their cars and apartments," he adds, "but I do think the reign of music as a commodity made only by professionals might be winding down. The imminent demise of the large record companies as gatekeepers of the world's popular music is a good thing, for the most part."


    I'd like to try this.
  2.  (2215.2)
    Me too. I think I'll take a trip downtown one of these days and give it a play.
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2008
    I do think the reign of music as a commodity made only by professionals might be winding down

    I read a great book called The Singing Neanderthals about the role of music in evolution (very heavy-going and anthropological but good), at the end it made a great point along these lines that it's stupid for us to be elitist about music when the capacity to appreciate it, on an intuitive level if not necessarily an intellectual one, is built into all of us. A piece of music written by some guy in his garage might not be as technically complex as a symphony, but that doesn't make it less valid as music. He put it a lot better than I could to be honest but it was something that I really agreed with.
  3.  (2215.4)
    it reminds me of the chasing skirt installation severed heads did for the biennial thingy in the late 80's only this time with an actual budget.
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2008
    Yeah, it's a great idea until Jonny Coldsore decides to give those "piping pillars" a play.
    • CommentAuthorSRT
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2008
    It sounds like he's making this for all the right reasons. I think it's an excellent idea.
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2008 edited
  4.  (2215.8)
    ^ I'm not sure who to be more jealous of; Xeni Jardin for having simply the best job in the world, or David Byrne for being David fucking Byrne.

    I'd like Byrne to bring this to the UK (London preferably!) now.