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 file was recorded near the console, oriented left channel toward the rear of the room and right toward the front. That is, the stereo image is rotated 90 degrees from the above and the mic position is much closer to the person playing. It includes more (and louder) talking and other sound from audience members, and because of the position some of the building sounds that would be quite loud in the center of the room are barely audible here. This perspective approximates the what one hears while actually playing the building from the organ console. Recorded with a hand-held Nagra ARES-M with the green-band XY clip-on microphone.


  • avatar
    ERH 11 years, 3 months ago

    Fascinating sounds and a great concept. Thank you for sharing.


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