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Development News

'Playing the Building' takes advantage of vintage Aria building

Aria, a special event space in downtown Minneapolis’s Warehouse District, has opened its doors to a creative sound installation called “Playing the Building,” from rocker David Byrne.

“Playing the Building,” which runs through Dec. 4 at Aria, has also exhibited in New York City, Stockholm, and London.

The show's title literally references how “The infrastructure, the physical plant of the building, is converted into a giant musical instrument,” according to the project website.

To make that happen, various pieces of equipment have been fixed to metal beams, pillars, and pipes to create sound. “The devices do not produce sound themselves, but they cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate,” the website reads. 

This is the first artistic program open to the public to take place at Aria, which took over the old Theatre de la Jeune Lune space nearly a year ago, according to Michelle Klein, a spokesperson for the venue.  

“That’s part of the vision for the building,” she says. “The idea is to make it not just a private event center, but a public event destination.”

Considering that the vintage building was once the site of award-winning theatrical productions, “It would be a shame to close the doors and only open it to those who’ve booked the space,” she says.

More broadly, the idea of scheduling community-oriented arts programming in the space speaks to the vision of First and First, the site's development company, headed by Peter Remes.

The idea is about “being much more engaged in a robust way with the neighborhood,” she says. “We want to be a good neighbor, going far beyond sweeping the sidewalks.”  

Source: Michelle Klein, spokesperson, Aria
Writer: Anna Pratt

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