Architecture has long proved an inspiration to musicians, with artists as diverse as Art Garfunkel and Kanye all drawing (so to speak) from the field. Some musicians even began their professional careers as architects – Weird Al, Ice Cube, and three of Pink Floyd’s founding members among them.
But for all the close connections, we don’t often hear about the musical alter-egos of architects practicing today. When Melissa J. Frost, a designer and studio instructor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, had a conversation with friend and fellow architect Eric Bunge (of nArchitects) about his band, she realized that more than a few of her architect/designer friends were active musicians. “Eric was saying that he tries to get together to play music with Florian Idenburg and Michael Meredith, and he still has a practice space in his basement,” Frost explained to The Architect’s Newspaper.
Intrigued, Frost reached out to friends to see who else (and what else) she could find. The results surprised even her. While many of the names are friends of Frost’s and not necessarily globally known, a few might be familiar to even a passing fan of architecture: Florian Idenburg, Neil Denari, and Esther Choi among them.
With support of the architect-musicians, Frost has assembled some of the tracks she uncovered in a mixtape. But don’t expect to find it on Spotify anytime soon. “[The mixtape] is supposed to be kind of difficult to get ahold of,” said Frost. While she hopes to organize a number of listening parties across the US, she has no immediate plans to expand the project.
The mixtape is part of a project Frost is leading named the IIIII Columns project, an online platform exploring the variety of work that falls outside the typical boundaries of the field.
Michael Meredith – Dadwhyareyousonegative
Tim Durfee – Selfies on Parade
Eric Bunge – Cellar
Kazys Varnelis – Stillwater
James Graham & Stephen Nielson – Last Night I Dreamt I Was a Robot
Neil Denari – Music For One
Mariana Ibañez, Simon Kim – Hate 1,2 (stop the violence)
Wendy Gilmartin – White Midnight
Florian Idenburg – Track 12
Enrique Ramirez – Lullaby From The West Coast Sleepers
Benjamin Bratton – Texture 4 George Crumb
Michael Young – If it Falls Apart
Alfredo Thiermann – Land in the Sky
Matt Olsen – Motion Block
Esther Choi – track 3
Daniel Barber – Needlefoam
News via The Architect’s Newspaper