Posted by Grainne on November 17, 2002 at 07:46:49:
In Reply to: Music and Architecture posted by Marcus yu on October 12, 2002 at 15:05:50:
You probably saw this already but just in case, I found it very interesting. I'm doing my thesis on designing a Conservatoire of Music so I'm researching 'Music and Architecture' aswell, did you find anything else useful?
Subject: Architecture as Music (by Daniel Libeskind)
Posted By: Kris intensely human
Posted At: 7/23/02 7:03:37 pm
The walls are aliveA good building is like frozen music, says architect Daniel LibeskindDaniel LibeskindGuardianSaturday July 13, 2002As an architect and as someone who studied and performed music, I have been keenly aware of the intense and often reciprocal dialogue between the audible and the visible. Buildings provide spaces for living, but are also de facto instruments, giving shape to the sound of the world. Music and architecture are related not only by metaphor, but also through concrete space.Every building I have admired is, in effect, a musical instrument whose performance gives space a quality that often seems to be transcendent and immaterial. The ineffable or the immeasureable gives a sense of wonder that forms the difference between building and architecture. Perception and measurement link music and architecture through the tradition of composition in both arts. The idea of harmony, discovered by the Pythagoreans in ancient Greece, describes the mystery in which the length of vibrating strings corresponds to golden section proportions in space.However, it is not only this aspect that connects space with the idea of cosmic order. There is an even deeper connection between the genesis of architecture in a drawing and the composition of music on the five-line staff and its transformation into a public performance. Musical compositions performed through the large forces of an orchestra and architectural drawings used as a means to transmit form into civic space are more than analogous - they are the constructive realities in both arts.One of the dimensions of the Jewish Museum Berlin is a musical one. From the beginning, I was inspired by Schoenberg's unfinished opera Moses and Aaron. What interested me was the incompleteness of the score, due to Schoenberg's exile from Berlin in those fatal years leading to the Holocaust. Schoenberg did not lack inspiration to complete the third act. Rather, it was the entire musical world that had ground to a halt, not merely for personal reasons, but due to the deep structural faults revealed by the history of culture itself.There is a dialogue between Moses and Aaron in which Aaron is the voice of the people and Moses a dissenter who despairs of ever communicating that which has no image, creating the musical space in which an architectural condition is proposed. While Aaron tells the Israelites that they will be led into the promised land, Moses exposes the paradox of revelation as a figurative form.Thus, the dissonance of music is implicated in the musical image. The drama that develops between Moses and Aaron ends with the realisation that the unimaginable and unutterable God cannot enter music easily. All this dialogue is sung. "Oh word, you word that I lack," is the last line. It is no longer sung but actually spoken. At the end of the opera, one can understand the word, because there is no music and the word is isolated and expressed in a shockingly naked and unmusical manner.Schoenberg's emptied form was not a mere metaphor for me in designing the Jewish Museum. I endeavoured to enter the aporia of Moses and Aaron by constructing a concrete architectural space that is acoustically hollow, and also accessible in its emptiness. The concrete space of the void that cuts through the Jewish Museum is traversed by 60 bridges that follow the ever-growing remoteness of rhythm and voice in the music of the city. The "Memory Void" is the final chord in which the unwritten word of Schoenberg's Moses develops an unexpected resonance with its own silence - a silence that reflects back into Berlin's bustling development.In the Imperial War Museum North in Trafford, Manchester, I have created a relationship between the atmosphere of the various components of the building and a particular "soundscape". The composition of the building is a four-movement experience beginning with the overture of a horizontal landscape plane for the sculpted shapes of the building. The vertical and lattice-like nature of the "Air Shard" allows the wind to "play" in the first allegro vivace movement. The curving ground plane of the "Earth Shard", the second movement, offers the andante cantabile for the exhibition experience within a shifting horizon. The "Water Shard", the concave space of the final allegretto movement, presses downwards from the roof, liberating the horizontal views of the city.My buildings intentionally blur the lines between the visible and the experiential, between technique and meaning. Only when the means by which a building is built disappear from the awareness of the visitor does the "frozen musical" moment appear in architecture - allowing another story to emerge.The dimension of time shared by both architecture and music provides a critical difference and a critical connection between them. Since music is experienced in time, its impact is related to the unique silence that follows, giving the musical work a memorable and dynamic stability. In architecture, however, the static nature of constructed space gains a dimension of perspective through experience and anticipation.Architecture can only be appreciated by transforming size into scale, matter into light, and time into rhythm, colour and key. As much as architecture depends on the mysterious intensity of music, which gives it space, so does music depend on architecture for continuing to uphold both the audible and inaudible in time. Without music, architecture would disappear altogether. Reducing architecture to a material reality only is to create a city of noise.Wired New York Forum
Architecture as Music (by Daniel Libeskind) Kris 7/23/02 7:03:37 pm
Re: Architecture as Music (by Daniel Libeskind) danielmhd 10/25/02 7:00:39 am
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Subject: Re: Architecture as Music (by Daniel Libeskind)
Posted By: danielmhd schweinhund
Posted At: 10/25/02 7:00:39 am
An excellent article!On a conceptual level, I'd very much agree with Libeskind's analysis of the formal and performative possibilities of architectural design (in respect to music). Conversely, it can also be said that banal design is artistically deadening and spiritually mute.I was very interested to see that the article was by Libeskind, as his Jewish Museum (despite its cold aesthetic) immediately came to my mind. I found its style and forms to be quite evocative of a musical aesthetic and the museum's acoustic design led to a heightened awareness of the real urban soundscape (Libeskind in fact utilized the building's hard, raw acoustics in a couple of powerful exhibits).Long live the sound of concrete, long live the sounds of the city!