Playing the building

Categories: Audio, Installazione
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Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: 13 February 2010

Playing the Building is a sonic project by ex-Talking Head David Byrne that came to London in 2009. You could sit down at an “antique organ” and hit whatever keys or chords your heart desired—but you wouldn’t be producing notes.

You would instead trigger a “series of devices,” as Byrne describes them: hammers and dampers distributed throughout the building in which you sat. Distant windowpanes and metal cross-beams, hooked up to wires, would begin to vibrate, tap, and gong. Imagine someone like this sitting in the darkness beneath Manhattan, causing haunted musics and unexplained knocks inside rooms and abandoned buildings around the city. Now, even urban infrastructure will be musicalized.

1 Comment
  1. Stefano says:

    In maniera molto superficiale potrei dire una versione pop (visto il coinvolgimento di David Byrne) e ingrandita (visto l’ambiente sonorizzato e sonorizzante) del piano preparato di John Cage:-)

    [il quale successivamente però si spinse ben oltre con il treno preparato…]

    Comunque da lettore del blog di Byrne (, dove trovo diverse cose interessanti, vorrei segnalare questo link

    (tra l’altro la parola journal mi riporta a Thoreau e quindi di nuovo a Cage: traiettoria circolare:-)

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