A few weeks ago, I wrote an article for NPR Music based on an interview from WNYC’s Soundcheck with David Byrne. Byrne’s latest project, called Playing the Building, transforms an antique pump organ and the old Battery Maritime Building in New York into an actual musical instrument.
The keyboard triggers mechanical devices that rattle, pound, clank, vibrate various motors, rafters and pipes and allows the public to literally play the building. Not only are the sounds stunning, but the building space itself is also visually amazing.
I’m so fascinated by this project since it finds music in unexpected places, finds beauty in such a great architectural and artistic space and because it’s very nature lets anyone — not just learned musicians — play and experiment with the sounds. I think I might have to take a weekend jaunt up to NYC to experience it for myself.
Blues-rock legend Bo Diddley died today at age 79. As great of a guitarist and early rock and roll icon as he was, the first thing I thought of when I heard the news this morning was this:
Ironically, this was my first introduction to Bo Diddley when I was a kid. This commercial, if I recall first aired during the 1989 All-Star Game, at the height of Bo Jackson-mania. Obviously as a huge Royals fan growing up, Bo Jackson was THE guy. So if this Bo Diddley character was cool enough to appear in a commercial with Jackson, he was certainly worth checking out. Luckily my father had a few of this records that he was more than happy to share.
Perhaps not the most logical introduction to an artist, but definitely a memorable one for a young, impressionable soon-to-be music lover.