Playing the Building

by Jon Mandle on July 23, 2008

David Byrne – you might have heard of his old band – has an installation at the Battery Maritime Building in New York called Playing the Building. Basically, he placed an old organ keyboard in the middle of a big room and rigged it up so that each key makes noise by banging, blowing, or grinding some part of the building. It’s a great effect and a lot of fun to play. When I was there, Saturday afternoon, there was only a 15 minute or so wait to play it, and everyone was in good spirits and having fun. The building itself is in poor shape and you need to sign a release form to enter. Probably not worth a trip to NY by itself, but if you’re already there, stop by and have some fun making noise.



fardels bear 07.23.08 at 8:10 pm

Hmmmm….. Sounds like it was built by Bloody Stupid Johnson. Was there an orangutan waiting to play it?


Righteous Bubba 07.24.08 at 1:51 pm

Note the Silophone:


The Modesto Kid 07.25.08 at 7:40 pm

It seemed to me like it was a lot more fun to listen to than to play. When I was sitting there at the keyboard I wanted to be playing music, and the experience had basically nothing in common with playing music; when I was standing in the room listening, I had fewer preconceptions of what the experience should be like to get into conflict over. Just loved standing next to the columns and flinching whenever somebody pressed the key that activated the column I was standing next to.

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