David Byrne stayed in A Room for London, a one-bedroom installation above the River Thames, from 17 - 19 February 2012. During this residency, he created Get It Away...
At different moments throughout 2012, under the collective title Hearts of Darkness, artists and stowaways from various professions were invited to spend time in A Room for London. The instruction was simple: use the time and space as an opportunity to imagine something new to share by way of the digital space, echoic of the golden age of nautical broadcasting
London's tempo is 122.86 beats per minute.
I brought along some field recording gear to use while I was staying in the lovely pod/room/boat. I went out during the day and recorded sounds that I thought might be useful and evocative. It turned out that most of the sounds - even the church organ in Southwark Cathedral - seemed to converge around a common rhythm. It's a bit too good to be true - that every large city should have its own rhythm, but here it is. I let the sounds dictate the groove, the tempo, and then I simply played along.
Here are where the sounds come from:
Strawberry seller: Borough Market
Woman Evangelist: Spitalfields Market
Organ: Southwark Cathedral
Jackhammer: near Waterloo
Footsteps: mine, embankment
Thames waves: near Surrey water
The videos are from all over. I took lots of photos around town while walking about, but I felt that moving images complemented London's groove a little better.
For more information: artangel.org.uk/a-room-for-london/hearts-of-darkness/
Cover image: Tom Oldham