Posted in on May 5, 2008

Playing the Building

Creative Time Presents
Playing the Building: An Installation by David Byrne
The Battery Maritime Building

10 South Street, New York, NY (Map)
31 May - 10 August 2008
Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Noon - 6PM (Free)
Opening Reception: 31 May, 6-8 PM

[Download press release]

Playing the building is a sound installation in which the infrastructure, the physical plant of the building, is converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices are attached to the building 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 do not produce sound themselves, but they cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument.

Playing the Building

More info HERE.

David Byrne may also be touring with Brian Eno.



Comments (30)

i heard all he's gonna do is set the place on fire while playing "burning down the house" on his boom box. the same boom box he clamps to the front of his rad bike!

Posted by Anonymous | May 5, 2008 6:12 PM

^i hear dumb posts are being banned from brooklyn vegan. the same brooklyn vegan that dude posted on.

Posted by jeff | May 5, 2008 6:49 PM


Posted by Anonymous | May 5, 2008 7:35 PM

David Byrne is so full of shit. This is yet another one of his laughable efforts. Dude, you're not Brazilian, or African, or a conceptual artist. Just playing some fucking music, fer chrissakes.

Posted by Anonymous | May 5, 2008 8:59 PM

Anonymous for president! Where obama at?!

Posted by Anonymous | May 5, 2008 9:10 PM

sounds like somebody needs to go watch True Stories

Posted by Anonymous | May 5, 2008 9:30 PM

This is the building where the ferry runs to governors island...

Posted by Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:34 PM

9:30, I agree with the sentiment, but 8:59 is only going to get more angry cause True Stories is um, one of the crappiest films ever made.

Posted by Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:52 PM


Posted by john goodman | May 6, 2008 2:59 AM

"This is the building where the ferry runs to governors island..."

You mean, it's the building _from which_ the ferry runs to Governors Island. It'd be quite a building if the ferry to Governors Island made its run inside it.

Posted by your English teacher | May 6, 2008 7:59 AM

since this is an area of manhattan where people have real jobs, or carrers as there known, hipsters will have no idea how to get there.

Posted by Anonymous | May 6, 2008 8:52 AM

8:52: What's a carrer?

Posted by Anonymous | May 6, 2008 8:58 AM

Didn't Einsturzen Neubauten already do this?

Posted by chris | May 6, 2008 9:01 AM

a Spanish railroad I think

Posted by anon | May 6, 2008 9:02 AM

No one can have me!

Posted by Tia Carerre | May 6, 2008 9:06 AM

This might be a little too heady, even for me.

Posted by Drugs Delaney | May 6, 2008 9:16 AM

You didn't have much of a career yourself, Tia.

Posted by Tila Tequila | May 6, 2008 9:25 AM

i challenge everyone to list what they do for money, their monthly income, work hours and years living in nyc. No cynical comments, just write it. Anyone who enters a cynical comment will be deemedan unemployed midwester livin on daddys dime.

Posted by Anonymous | May 6, 2008 9:38 AM

what time does "carrers as there known" go on?

Posted by Anonymous | May 6, 2008 9:57 AM

work, about $25,000 a month, 9-6 M-F, 27 years, and True Stories still sucks

Posted by Anonymous | May 6, 2008 9:58 AM

This won't be as good as when Gavin Bryars played the wreckage of the Titanic.

Posted by Anonymous | May 6, 2008 10:24 AM

people. if you don't like the idea, don't go see/hear it. tis quite simple. effect, shut the fuck up.

Posted by Anonymous | May 6, 2008 10:35 AM

Total Vampire Weekend rip off.

Posted by Anonymous | May 6, 2008 10:50 AM

music licensing, M-F 9-5, in new york for 5 years. 38k. i live in williamsburg, i might be a hipster, and i love this building.

Posted by Anonymous | May 6, 2008 2:27 PM

patent law, 10K after taxes, M-S 8-7, lived in nyc 1987-1990, new jersey now.

Posted by i got kids | May 6, 2008 3:39 PM

Completely different context than Neubauten, Chris.

Posted by Crosseyed Sniper | May 7, 2008 3:18 AM

i actually went to see it with my wife. it was actually pretty cool. the place was packed. apparently, some hipsters have heard of hopstop, anon @8:52. and another thing. all the people rocking their carrers down there are GONE on saturday, sherlock.

anyway, it made some interesting clanking, wheezing, droning noises. a few peeps even managed to punch out something resembling music.

Posted by Dave | June 1, 2008 1:54 AM

More Songs About Buildings And Food: Byrne probably had this idea swimming in his brilliant mind before Talking Heads hit the charts in the 80s... "Fucking" music or not (and unlike those stuck at the bottom of the African continent), y'all in Brooklyn and surrounds have the chance to see and hear what is probably the biggest musical instrument ever assembled - or you can choose not to... I think it's a wild idea for a wild, wild life. Never mind President: David Byrne for GOD...

Posted by Dexterity | June 2, 2008 9:09 AM

i wish this was opened 24/7 :-(

Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2008 5:24 PM

David Byrne is a musical genius, and ecclectic and inventive. I have met him, and will say that
he is actually SHY in person, but a TRUE gentleman, NEVER greedy, NEVER selfish or rude.
What does that have to do with his music and such?
Nothing really. Just saw the comments and wanted to say that for those who want a real treat, listen to all of his music and work, from beginning {Talking Heads} to solos. You may not quite get it that he isn't trying to re-invent World music, nor is he trying to mimic others. He is full of LOVE for music and appreciation of other music and artists.....and it's sad that you don't "get it"....but hope for the more open minded. Listen to his work. Some may not float your boat, but anyone with a true love of music and half a brain of intelligence will recognize a true genius at work. David Byrne is brilliant.

Posted by MadMaven | December 24, 2008 5:48 AM

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