Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 15:41 UK

NY building set for musical role

David Byrne
Byrne has been involved in a number of artistic projects

Former Talking Heads singer David Byrne is to turn a New York building into a giant musical instrument.

The performer will transform the Great Hall of the Battery Maritime Building by connecting devices to beams, pipes and other structural features.

At the heart of the "instrument" will be an antique organ which will control vibrations used to make the sounds.

In 2005, visitors to Byrne's first installation in Sweden were encouraged to play the instrument themselves.

Vibrating girders

Visitors to the landmark, next to the Whitehall Ferry Terminal, will also be able to create sounds throughout the building by playing the centrepiece organ.

Artist's impression of the organ in the New York building
An artist's impression of the organ at the heart of the musical building

Playing The Building will be in place from 31 May to 10 August.

In an interview published on his website, Byrne said the building in Stockholm turned into a "shared communal experience which was very moving for me to witness".

"Typical parts of buildings can be used to produce interesting sounds. Everyone is familiar with the fact that if you rap on a metal column, for example, you will hear a ping or a clang," he said.

"But I wondered if the pipes could be turned into giant flutes, and if a machine could make girders vibrate and produce tones."

A number of guest musicians will also be invited to "challenge" the installation through a series of performances.

Byrne, 55, has embarked upon a career as a solo musician and visual artist since Talking Heads ceased making records in 1991.

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