Music from Blueprints? Dancing about architecture?
September 22, 2020 6:43 PM   Subscribe

So, what's this album?? Probably between 1998 and 2004?? I think it was either a computer fed blueprints or maybe it had sensors all over a building that fed data from light and from air moments - a relatively new building? - something kind of iconic? A train station or airport terminal or something? I swear I've googled this.

The resulting music was about what you'd expect. Oval-esque delights. A buddy and I have been wracking our brains. I thought Ryuchi Sakamoto did something like this but that's not it. The cover I'm sure had a photo of the building. Maybe a tower shape.
posted by J0 to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you thinking of David Byrne's 'Playing the Building'? Video here.
posted by sagc at 6:53 PM on September 22 [4 favorites]

I kind of remember something from Aphex Twin like this, but I don’t know enough about Aphex Twin to actually be specific.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:05 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]

(In related, Aphex Twin sometimes hid images encoded into their audio tracks, which could only be viewed through a spectrum analyzer.)
posted by ovvl at 7:12 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]

Byrne's 'Playing the Building' sure seems like it should have been it, but I have been informed that it is not it! Dangit! I think the presentation of this piece was definitely an album, rather than multiple venue performances...
posted by J0 at 9:17 AM on September 23

Bit of a reach but I'll mention in case it helps in searching, there's a bit in the Dirk Gently novel by Douglas Adams about a similar idea: the character Richard MacDuff creates a spreadsheet program called Anthem that can turn corporate accounting info (or similar unrelated data) into music. It's just possible this might be mentioned in discussions of such an album, especially if the album is on the earlier side of your date range.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:21 AM on September 23

Given that it's not that, some other much wilder guesses:
  • Venetian Snares and Hecare released Nymphomatriarch in 2003. Not buildings, but definitely unusual instrumentation
  • Hurrah Torpedo play appliances
  • Maybe someone listed here will help narrow things down?

posted by sagc at 10:55 AM on September 23

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