BBtv — David Byrne: Playing the Building

In today's edition of Boing Boing tv, music legend David Byrne transforms an entire NYC building into a giant musical instrument, and Xeni joins him inside for a BBtv tour.

Playing the Building is Byrne's latest sonic innovation, and morphs the century-old Battery Maritime Building into a clanging, vibrating sound sculpture. In this installation, the former Talking Heads co-founder blurs the boundaries between the creators and consumers of culture. He explains:

Devices [have been] attached to the building's structure – to the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, the water pipes – and are used to make these things produce sound. The activations are of three types: wind, vibration, striking. The devices cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument.

Byrne sees music as deeply embedded within the natural sounds that surround us every day, and believes "anyone can be a writer, artist, or musician if they want to."
Playing the Building continues through August 10, 2008 at 10 South Street, New York, NY; open every Friday through Sunday, noon – 6pm. Admission is free of charge.

Link to Boing Boing tv post with discussion and downloadable video.

(Photos used in this episode are by Clayton Cubitt. Special thanks to Danielle Spencer, and Jason Wishnow).

Update: Byrne will receive a lifetime achievement award at the Webby Awards tonight.