Cool Hunting Video Presents: Playing the Building

When David Byrne connected an organ to a century-old NYC maritime building, the improvisational musicians were soon to follow, and we captured the symphonic results

In conjunction with Creative Time, Playing the Building is an installation by David Byrne that transformed a 9,000 square foot abandoned room in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Maritime Building into an instrument for the summer. An antique pump organ controls devices that create sounds using the building’s infrastructure, including heating pipes, metal beams and pillars.

For a special event last month, curator Mark Beasley invited accomplished musicians to perform an improvisational piece with the building. The result is a captivating musical experience.