Musicity

Providing the sounds to the city, Nick Luscombe and Simon Jordan invite you to plug into an alternative tour of architecture in London

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Inspired by the French theorist Guy Debord, Nick Luscombe and Simon Jordan introduce Musicity, a project aimed at encouraging people to plug into the diverse and thriving cityscape around them. Opening eyes through ears, the project breathes new life into a lost discourse between the collage of buildings in London by providing free music streaming from the different locations across the city. Particiapting buildings include the iconic Tate Modern, Trellick Tower, Blackfriars Bridge, Battersea Power Station, the National History Museum and the Post Office Tower. By visiting each location, the tracks – specifically inspired by each building's design – can be streamed using the Musicity app developed by the pair. Capturing in sound what the buildings around them project, Musicity provides an alternative way to see some of London’s most iconic sites.

With its launch here in London, the scheme is programmed to feature in a run of cities as part of Nick and Simon’s vision to dissect our urban fabric. The opening of the project, taking place at the The Architecture Foundation’s central vantage point Skyroom, will blend the two worlds of music and design with discussions from the likes of Vicky Richardson, architect David Adjaye, Dr Michael Bull and music journalist Paul Morley, alongside DJ’s and the Musicity artists. Dazed Digital spoke to Simon Jordan about the initiative… 

Dazed Digital: How did the project originate?
Simon Jordan: Nick and I we're looking to bring our two worlds together; mine being architecture, design and the built environment, Nick's being music. As art forms, both architecture and music are uniquely immersive, they both move people physically, behaviourally, emotionally and intellectually. Digital technologies and mobile devices have given us an opportunity to explore this.

DD: Why music?
Simon Jordan: We are keen for people to explore and experience the city through a different 'lens'.  Music brings with it the stimulus to engage people in constructing new meanings, new interpretations of the physical world.

DD: What have been the defining themes submitted in the work for London Musicity?
Simon Jordan: You can pretty much dance to all of it!

DD: How would you define London architecture?
Simon Jordan: London has a reputation for creativity around the world and partly this is a consequence of it's urban condition - the 'compressed' nature of London brings with it a certain friction, people rubbing up against each other (no laughing at the back..). This leads to the potential to be on the intersection of various creative communities; fashion, art, design, music - and this I think generates a more pluralistic creative output, a more stimulating and open environment.  It's accidental, rather than design, but demonstrates how cities shape cultural output.

DD: Do you think the language of architecture has become lost?
Simon Jordan: The interesting thing about language is that, if you elevate the conversation to one of design, or the creative act, both musicians and architects share a language, or a vocabulary.  Musicians talk about constructing spaces, architects about rhythm and harmony. Both require rigour and discipline, - you can't do either 'approximately', however formally expressive. Musicity sets out to explore this.

Up On The Roof: Musicity at The Architecture Foundation, London SE1 2TU, 19 April 2011, 6pm

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