When we talked to Byrne in March, he hinted at the project, saying he was working on an "audio installation at the Marine Ferry Terminal – you know, that beautiful empty building at the foot of Manhattan. Creative Time is helping." At the end of the month the installation will be unveiled, and some details have been released.:
Playing the Building, a 9,000-square-foot, interactive, site-specific installation by David Byrne, will transform the interior of the landmark Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan into a massive sound sculpture that all visitors are invited to sit and “play.”
When asked about the idea, Byrne said he's "not advocating a kind of'"Wiki' world of culture; but I guess I am advocating less separation between cultural producers (the artists, writers, musicians, dancers, singers) and cultural consumers."
The installation will include a retrofitted antique organ in the center of the 2nd floor gallery space, this will "control a series of devices attached to its structural features—metal beams, plumbing, electrical conduits, and heating and water pipes. These machines will vibrate, strike, and blow across the building elements, triggering unique harmonics and producing finely tuned sounds."
The Battery Maritime Building's 2nd floor hasn't been open to the public for decades, and as an added bonus, the sonic installation is free all summer long (Friday through Sunday). Byrne will be inviting musicians to the space for a series of performances and challenges, as well; more details here. And he's also announced a piece he'll be performing to benefit The Kitchen, at an event that takes place May 21st at the Puck Building.