Just ran across this and wanted to share it.
From Wikipedia's article on David Byrne:
In 2008, Byrne and his production team programmed the Battery Maritime
Building, a 99-year-old ferry terminal in Manhattan, to play music.
Essentially Byrne took the old New York City building, hooked the
entire structure - pipes, heaters, pillars and all, electronically to
an old pipe organ, and made a playable musical instrument of it, for a
piece called "Playing the Building".
How cool is THAT?!
You did see the part where he said it was for the audience to
participate, right? It wasn't meant to be a concert performance. It
was more about opening people up to listening to the sounds around
Go back and look at it again. One of the things I noticed was a
couple of women pulling two kids' hands away from the keyboard so the
women could show them how it was 'supposed' to be done. That's the
exact opposite of what David Byrne would have wanted. It was meant to
let people experience music in a non-musical playful setting.
I was in Houston TX in 1985 when that French guy put on a laser
light/music show using the city-scape as the projection screen.
Imagine +1 million people with boom boxes all tuned to the same
station, watching the lasers, listening to the music, toking fat ones,
I had me a real good time.
Although I got the year wrong (1986 vs. 1985). We'd been in Houston
since 1982. Freinds from home (California) came out to watch the
Giants vs. Astros on opening day. The laser concert was an
afterthought, but the highlight of hte visit.
The secong album by the Talking Heads is titled "More Songs about
Buildings and Food". I also thought I'd make my own Frank Zappa
reference with the quip "Is this phase two.......?" (For those Lumpy
If you want me to elaborate about meeting Byrne, I was working
(volunteering) at a college radio station and one of the other DJs was
a close friend of his so he was invited to hang out for an evening.
Nice time, can't recall too much of what was said.
David Byrne said that as a youth he was probably borderline
Asperger's, and I think that ability to obsess about things, and the
ability to create from that obsession, is what makes an artist and
No problem - some of the best nights I ever had were a bit foggy
afterward...and after some I was also pretty damned sore. ;)
I've never met Mr. Bryne, but I did attend one of their Stop Making
Sense tour stops, the tour that the movie was made from.
We live a pretty conservative area, so selling out a large arena for
the Talking Heads wasn't going to happen. Instead, they cut the local
War Memorial in half, creating a horseshoe shaped arena that was
packed with about 8000 raucous fans.
I used to live in NYC and attended lots of concerts at MSG, Central
Park, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Fillmore East, The Meadowlands, etc.
The Stop Making Sense concert ranks amongst the top few concerts that
I've ever attended.
It's pretty cool the way he has it set up, although he could always
get the band to do a live performance with the audience in the middle
of the room. :)
I may have mentioned on here quite a long time ago something about the
idea of a band that moves around the room and the audience, maybe on
foot or even on some kind of film "dolly-track", so that the music
fluctuates and shifts in experience over time...
I bang on bus-stop windows and parts thereof sometimes when I get
bored waiting for the bus. Large glass windows can have a nice bass
sound when you bump them in the middle with the side of your fist, and
the metal components can sound nice (metallic snare when coupled with
the window's bass) when flicked with a finger-nail.
Someone mentioned Frank Zappa, and there's a bit of him on tv "playing
a bike", which I've also done when I once happened upon Montreal's:
The vid says 2007 and the time I was there was around the early 90's,
so they're still keeping up the tradition.
While walking today I thought of a large pipe, about 3' dia x 12'
long, with identical 12" full range drivers mounted along the side of
that pipe, evenly spaced apart, the far end of the pipe would be
capped off so the sound would come out one end only. Then send a
single identical signal to each of the drivers at the same time. Would
the driver at the far end of the pipe have a lower sound then the
driver mounted closest to the open end of the pipe? If so, would that
then be a full range speaker?
What if, at the far end of the pipe, rather than a cap, a U was
installed, then another length of pipe, kinda like a folded horn.
Would this add volume?
Spring must be coming, I'm itching to make stuff.
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