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DAVID BYRNE'S FREE NYC "PLAYING THE BUILDING" INSTALLATION

Posted by Billyjam, July 29, 2008 07:05am | Post a Comment
     David Byrne's Playing The Building installation, NYC

LA and San Francisco may be offering a lot of really good free entertainment this summer, but New York City tops both of them with a richly varied, non-stop offering of entertainment to choose from all summer long: much of it stuff that you would happily pay to see, from great concerts to cool exhibits. Topping this list is David Byrne's Playing The Building (Friday, Saturday, Sunday Noon to 6PM) at the Battery Maritime Building (10 South St.), which has been extended through August 24th. If you are making a visit to NYC by then, make time in your schedule to include this hands-on sound exhibit.

As explained by the former Talking Heads member in the video below, the idea for this unique installation came about after he realized that you "could turn the space into a musical instrument by attaching machines to the various parts of the structure." In conjunction with the wonderful NYC arts group Creative Time, who specialize in transforming soon to be demolished or restructured old city buildings into cool art spaces for their final days, Byrne took over this lower Manhattan decades-abandoned ferry terminal (soon to be remodeled) and turned it into a giant musical instrument.

Byrne and company painstakingly created this giant musical instrument by hooking up a series of sound-generating gizmos, strategically positioned throughout the empty cavernous old ferry building, and connecting them, via long cables, draped down and across the ceiling and back down to the keys on an old organ (the only thing on display in the otherwise completely empty building), which in turn causes the whole building to vibrate and resonate into a myriad of hypnotic noises/sounds. Fun!

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