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Monday, August 10, 2009

David Byrne Turns Building Into Steampunk Instrument

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Arts & Culture | Byrne makes Roundhouse walls sing
A cacophony of clangs, hums and whistles resonate around London's iconic music venue Roundhouse.

But this time it's the building itself - not the bands that have played its hallowed hall - taking centre stage.

The building has been transformed into a giant steampunk musical instrument by Talking Heads founder David Byrne.

An old pump organ in the centre of the circular hall is linked to the Roundhouse's metal beams, cast iron pillars and plumping pipes, via a sprawling mass of cables.

Visitors can "play" the building by pressing the keyboard to make tuneful sounds and vibrations.

But it's hardly music to one's ears.

Byrne, who was in London to launch the installation, compared the air rushing through pipes as a sound akin to that of a flute, but admitted: "You can't play Bach."

"It kind of levels the playing field as far as performance goes. We are all equally amateur at it," he added.

"The piano lessons you got as a child are not going to be of too much use."

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