Musical architecture

May 30, 2008 § 4 Comments

From an article about David Byrne’s installation project, Playing the Building:

[F]or the next two and a half months, though, the building will simply serve as a gargantuan cast-iron orchestra. Besides being fitted with several motors, which produce the bass sounds by vibrating a set of girders that once supported a stained-glass skylight in the 40-foot-high ceiling, the organ is attached to a pump that blows air through a tangle of hoses. These hoses snake into the huge room’s old water and heating pipes and conduits, making primitive flute sounds. And then there are more than a dozen spring-loaded solenoids, attached like woodpeckers to the columns and even to a linebacker-size radiator that emits a surprisingly sonorous tone when struck in just the right place with a metal rod.

As luck would have it, I’ll be travelling to New York soon. This is one of several reasons I’m looking forward to being there.

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