Converting Cityscapes To Soundscapes
If someone asked you: what does your city sound like? Your answer would probably tend towards the noises you hear each day as you walk around—the bustling of traffic, the chatter of crowds, the hum of activity that makes up any urban setting. We doubt the first thing to come to mind would be actualizing the musical score implicit in your city’s skyline, but that’s exactly what Dutch artist Akko Goldenbeld did with the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
For his installation Pianola City Music, shown at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile exhibition in Milan, Italy, Goldenbeld created a scale model of the city, attached it to a rotating drum, and “played” the city architecture. The buildings’ shapes create a musical composition by moving little hammers that tap the keys of the piano. The result is not exactly Beethoven, but it’s an interesting way to look at town planning.
Akko says the “tall buildings in the city centre have a heavy touch; the low-rise villas to the South create considerably gentler sounds”. Which makes you wonder what the most musical city would be. Paris? New York? Delhi? Maybe they should start an international competition.