Monday, December 28, 2009

David Byrne installation

So one of the interesting sessions I had this year was at the Roundhouse in Camden town a huge venue that puts on some varied & interesting programmes of events throughout the year.
I was invited to be a part of the David Byrne (Talking Heads) installation titled "Playing the Building" The public were able to walk around the Roundhouse and interact with the space, primarily through a special organ keyboard that turns pipes into flutes and walls into drums.that had taken over the main space for the summer!
These sessions were really well attended with long queues forming all day in order for people to experience and in the case of some invited musicians to play along with the installation.
This involved an organ rigged up to play everything from the metal beams to water pipes resonating, vibrating, oscillating noise-making with various tensioned wires connected to the Roundhouse building each making a unique sound and ultimately turning the building into a giant instrument!
I was invited to bring along a vibraphone and to introduce a metallic soundscape as an interlude or a duet element into the proceddings followed by me encouraging the people who had come along to experience the installation to join in either with their own instruments or a selection of pitched and unpitched percussive instruments that I brought along for the purpose!It was a great experience and led to some interesting discussions about what is sound? and what is music? I also had someone adamently trying to get us all to play something from the Jimi Henrix catalogue has hendrix had apparently performed there in the Roundhouse in the 1970s. Anyway we finished up with a long queue of people wanting to play my vibraphone after someone had asked to play a couple of notes and that led to loads more curious and eager to have a try. It really was a lot of fun and the totally unexpected and warm feedback from those who attended really rounded up the whole experience on a high note.

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