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Song About David Byrne’s Playing the Building (MP3)

This dates from last year, but given the flurry of coverage being given David Byrne‘s current Playing the Building installation at the Roundhouse in London (pictured above, courtesy of building.co.uk), it’s especially worth checking out. Byrne’s project is to make buildings playable — he hooks up an organ via a spaghetti box worth of cables to all manner of noisemaking percussive and otherwise motorized tools that are distributed throughout the building. Last year, when the piece was installed at the Battery Maritime Building in lower Manhattan, musician Robert Gomez took samples of the audio and created “Hunting Song,” a lush bit of background pop created from those samples — so, there is the circus organ, with its Willy Wonka eeriness, intoning ever so threateningly above a whirling marvel of mechanical momentum, courtesy of Byrne’s invention (MP3).

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More on the project at davidbyrne.com. More on Gomez at robertgomezmusic.com. More on the Roundhouse installation, which runs through August 31, at roundhouse.org.uk.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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One Comment

  1. [ Posted August 16, 2009, at 7:06 am ]

    For an in-depth analysis of Byrne’s original Manhattan installation, check out “everyone play: sound, public space, and the (re)making of place” available here: http://www.betseybiggs.com

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