July 7th, 2008

Visitors "playing the building" at David Byrne's installation in lower Manhattan, July 5, 2008.

Playing the Building involves an old organ console placed in the middle of a semi-abandoned ferry terminal with various actuators hooked up throughout the building. The structure itself -- its pipes, columns, and so on -- makes the actual sound, under the control of whoever is at the console. You can read more about it on davidbyrne.com. Anyone can go in and play the building for a few minutes at a time.

See http://www.crypto.com/blog/playing_the_building for more details about this recording.

This clip was recorded at the center of the main room, facing toward the organ console. There are occasional footsteps, people talking, children yelling and laughing, etc. (which, I think, could be considered part of the "performance"), but the dominant sound here is the building itself being played. The microphone perspective approximates being in the "audience". Recorded with a hand-held Nagra ARES-M with the green-band XY microphone.


  • avatar
    morgantj 9 years, 5 months ago

    Sounds very interesting! I would love to see and listen to this live!

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