Sunday, June 08, 2008

David Byrne in the Battery Maritime Building

David Byrne of Talking Heads fame has an installation in downtown Manhattan's Battery Maritime Building called "Playing the Building," in which he set up an organ that uses wind, vibration, and striking to "play" different parts of the building's great hall. Any visitor to the free exhibit may play it.

The 1909 building was once a Brooklyn ferry terminal, but it fell out of use because of the Brooklyn Bridge. I was there to take a ferry to Governor's Island to see New York City's first polo match in 70 years. Bad weather cancelled ferry service for much of the day (though the match went on) so I didn't make it. But I had stumbled into the opening day of Byrne's exhibit in the very same building. I wasn't disappointed.






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