music for architecture

Posts from the ‘music’ category

A cool NPR story – How One Band Turned A Ghost Town Into A Giant Recording Studio:

In August of 2011, the three members of the Danish band Efterklang, dressed in survival suits, loaded a small recording studio worth of equipment onto an open boat docked on the island of Spitsbergen. Soaked by rain and rough seas, the boat pushed off into the fjord that separates the town of Longyearbyen from their destination: Piramida, a former Russian coal mining settlement abandoned by the state-held company that ran it in 1998.

…Piramida promised the cleanest slate imaginable. There were no people in the town, just crumbling evidence of former occupants and their lives. The plan was to take recording equipment — mallets to bang on whatever they could find, microphones and flash recorders to document the noises they made — and return home with raw sound they could twist and turn into a new album.

…For musicians obsessed with sound, Piramida offered unimaginable opportunities: to turn every object within sight into a musical instrument; to turn an entire town, in effect, into a recording studio.

Because of poor acoustics, students in classrooms miss 50 percent of what their teachers say and patients in hospitals have trouble sleeping because they continually feel stressed. Julian Treasure sounds a call to action for designers to pay attention to the “invisible architecture” of sound.

sathorn Arch
This is an early rendering from Rangsan and Pansit Architecture Co. Ltd., the firm that designed the Sathorn Unique tower. I’ve contacted them on the off chance they might share some renderings or blueprints. I’m keenly interested in seeing more of the planned future that might have been the alter-fate of the ghost tower.

From their site:

Sathorn Unique Tower is our first residential project in downtown Bangkok. The tower is 49 storey with the total of 659 residential units and 54 retails, located only less than 200 meters from BTS: Taksin station. Sathorn Unique Tower is also located at the edge of old commercial town of Charernkrung meets the new international business zone of Silom-Sathorn roads. It sits on the a horse-shoe blend which is considered as the best place for overlook at the Bangkok’s grand cityscape and the charm of the Chaopraya river.

– Sathorn notes, 2012

I never did hear back from the architects. Maybe they don’t read english or perhaps they’ve long since abandoned the project of Sathorn Unique…

There’s an architecture to music. Rhythm imposes structure, partitioning the timeline into grid-like slices. Deep low-end builds out the foundation onto which the drum kit is assembled, it’s percussions the scaffolding joins & terminals. Pattern & melody wrap the structure in a harmonic skin, textured and colored and expressive, all filtered & flanged. Sits in a space of depth and breath, echoing reflections from distant surfaces across the landscape. The rhythm, the notation, the start & stop & space between, the skitterhop wiggles and booming 8’s. The House.

Dreams communicate through music. A bubbling & bottling of the sub-conscious, often fermented & flavored. Emotion takes on more character, greater viscera and presence, expressing the numinous depth of humanity & life & love, subtly, oddly, and in the middle of the night alone in bed suddenly awake to the darkness. Good music can offer a warm blanket, a friend, or simply a light to hold to. All important things to take into the Dreamworld.

– Sathorn notes, 2012

I’m trying to explore the juxtaposition of futures for Sathorn Unique. On one hand, the ambitious exuberance lighting the dreams of what Sathorn was supposed to be: the grand opening, the excited crowds, international elites in penthouse suites, a legacy of architectural grandeur and the pride of Bangkok. On the other, the hollow shell of the white ghost tower, etched & worn by exposure, half-printed & unskinned, abandoned & empty but for stray dogs, ephemeral homeless encampments, urban explorers, and the tangles & piles of lifeless debris littering the halls. I imagine the ghosts of the party haunting the empty & hollow husk of Sathorn Unique. A hi-color glossy brochure crusting and moldering on a stained and cracking floor.

– Sathorn notes, 2012