I really want to be a Frank Gehry fan...but it's hard.
Not far from where I live in Buffalo there is an early Frank Lloyd Wright prairie house built in 1904. Across the street is huge Beaux Arts mansion built in 1903. I once overheard the owner of the Beaux Arts edifice disparaging about the Wright house saying, "Well, it's certainly not elegant living." At the time I thought, "Thank God I'm not so narrow minded."
That was about 30 years ago and now I look at Frank Gehry's work and think, "Can this be elegant architecture...and who just said that?"
The Experience Music Project is housed in a $240 million building sponsored by Microsoft's Paul Allen and designed by Frank Gehry. Ron Judd of the Seattle Times described it as "The wreck of the Partridge Family bus". Some other newspapers were even more creative with their descriptions. For me I found it to be just another obstacle in the path on the road to becoming a Frank Gehry groupie.
THE EMP, EXPERIENCE MUSIC PROJECT WAS REALLY SWEET. A HUGE BUILDING WITH 3 FLOORS OF COOL THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN CONNECTION WITH EXPERIENCING MUSIC !!!!!!
Seattle being the place that jimi hendrix grew up, there was a lot of films and gear that jimi used during his performances on and off stage
ALSO A GREAT FILM CLIP OF THE BEATLES PLAYING WASHINGTON DC IN 1964~~~!!!!!!
FILMS OF JANIS JOPLIN AND A GROUP OF MUSICIANS FROM THE 60'S
THERE ARE ALSO ROOMS PEOPLE CAN GO TO LEARN AND JAM ON INSTRUMENTS........
THE PLACE IS GREAT FOR EXPLORING THE IDEAS OF MUSIC...........
This venue in Seattle was worth the visit but it would have been heaven for a music buff. The place is located at The Seattle Center and the outside look of the building will get your attention off the start.
There was a lot of exhibits. No pictures allowed of the artifacts. There was an extenisve exhibit on Jimmy Hendrix and Bob Dylan. I thought the personal journals of Hendrix where interesting to read. The Beatles are there, tonnes of old guitars and other instruments.
Making this place fun was the fact it was interactive. You could do recordings there, make videos, play the drums, guitar, keyboard and bass as a solo or in a group in sound proof chambers.
It was hear I learnt that arasnosliw is not exactly musically inclined. She likes to sing away, beat the drums and strum the guitar but it wasn't exactly sounding the best. I enjoyed that because when I tried I was much, much worst, LOL :-).
I'm not sure what to do with this one. It's definitely for die-hard popular music fans and not for the casual listener as there aren't as many exhibits of memorabilia and such that might appeal to the masses. But if you are a musician, are serious about becoming one, or have a love for the art then this is for you. The complex consists of a floor of exhibits and another floor of interactive labs where you can mess around with instruments, record a CD and other "hands-on" activities.
Here are the highlights:
• The Project building was designed by Frank Gehry and exhibits his unmistakable fluid style
• "Sound and Vision - Artists tell their Story" - very definitely worth the ticket. Watch/listen to videos of well-known musicians talk about their craft.
• Catch current, special exhibits that range from photographs to special memorabilia
• Rock out to music videos on the mega-screen in Sky Church - an large warehouse-sized space sometimes used for live shows and private events. This one also made for some fun photo-ops.
Other attractions were a gallery of different makes and eras of guitars, a Jimi Hendrix shrine of sorts, and a walkthrough of the History of Northwest Music. In the two-story atrium is a monster, cyclone-shaped centerpiece made of 600 guitars plus other musical instruments. The music lab upstairs was too busy to get onto most of the interactive stuff and, well, it was 80's and gorgeous outside so we did a quick spin and headed for the sunshine.
There's a cafe, the ever-present gift shop, and the whole shootin' match is connected to the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (see my tip on tourist traps). There ya go.
Ticket run $15 for grownup and $12 for kids over age 4. My advice? Skip it if not really into contemporary rock/blues/jazz, don't waste the ticket price on small children, and pick a rainy day. Oh, and make SURE to check the website for possible gallery closings during exhibit changeovers.
The Experience Music Project is basically a museum of music, if you can imagine that. It primarily focuses on American rock and roll. They have a few galleries and numerous hands on displays.
One gallery revealed the history and development of the guitar. This interesting and informative exhibit displayed guitars from the early instruments from which they originated to the electric ones used by contemporary musicians. The text accompanying the displays was excellent.
Another exhibit detailed the short life of Jimi Hendrix. His family, personal life, and career were described. His development as a musician was well illustrated. Jimi Hendrix’s contribution to the expansion of the art of the guitar was well covered. I understand that this is a rotating exhibit that will be replaced in about two years.
Many hands on displays were available. However, there seemed to be fewer displays than people who wanted to experiment with them. Mini sound stages were among the numerous hands on exhibits.
The Experience Music Project had a variety of displays and activities. The complex attempts to present a history of music by using both static and interactive formats. Admission to the Experience Music Project also includes entrance to the adjacent Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.
Whether you pay the big bucks to go into the actual museum or just walk around the outside and through the lobby, the EMP is not to be missed! Designed by Frank Gehry, the building itself is more than half the attraction.
Inside, the good-sized gift shop, Turntable (restaurant) and Liquid Lounge (bar), can all be enjoyed admission free. For an additional $19.95, the museum is a giant collection of musical paraphernalia and fun, interactive activities.
I'd read a lot of negative reviews about the Experience Music Project (EMP), but since my teenage years were spent listening to Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, I just had to see what this museum had to offer. In the end, I thought it was fairly interesting. They probably could have done a lot more with it, so I understand how people might be disappointed, but there was enough to keep us busy for a few hours - and the fact that it allowed us to stay warm and dry was just a bonus!
The "Northwest Passage" permanent exhibit was the most interesting part of the museum for me, I'd never realized that so many bands came from Seattle and that the city had been a music hotbed for so long. The guitar gallery was also pretty cool since it allowed us to see the evolution of the instrument from its humble beginnings to the craziest electric guitars ever designed. We also enjoyed visiting the Jimi Hendrix gallery, which featured fragments of some of the guitars he smashed and paper sheets with hand-written lyrics on them, among other things. Oh, and we also had fun in the section upstairs that teaches you how to play real instruments!
Before leaving we took a quick look at the Science Fiction Museum, which is included in the price of admission. I'm not a big Sci-Fi fan so I didn't find that part very interesting, but there were some cool props from Sci-Fi movies. But I guess even if you don't plan on visiting EMP, it's still worth making the short trip to Seattle Center if only to see the completely over-the-top building designed by architect Frank Ghery. Some say it's made to look like a smashed guitar and that the colour theme was inspired by Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" - whatever his inspiration was, the result is truly rock n' roll!
EMP is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and tickets cost $15.
The Experience Music Porject is by far better than Cleveland's Rock and Roll hall fo fame in my humble opinion. What sets it apart are the hands on exhibits that allow one to learn how to create the music you hear and read about in the museum.
One exterior wall of the Gehry's undulating complex is covered in mirrored, purple tile that distorts reflection - making for some VERY trippy images. Great for screen savers and much cheaper and safer than the alternative, if ya know what I mean. Far out, man.
Check out the latest entry to Seattle---EXPERIENCE MUSIC PROJECT, an interactive journey to the soul of rock music. The architecture is also kinda that of a shiny terrestrial awkwardly sitting in the middle of the city.
The building, designed by Frank Gehry, is out of this
world, as well as the fortune of its founder, Paul G.
Allen, formerly of Microsoft. The tools are high tech. The
object of its exhibits is rock 'n' roll. The objective: to
experience music and musicology like never before. The
instrument of choice is the electric guitar. The icon,
Everybody had fun at the Sound Lab catering to all different levels of musicians,
from beginners to the experienced. Unfortunately, the wait
can be long for the different activities the Lab offers. In
the On Stage section, we became rock stars in the time it
takes to sing a song. And heck, we have the poster to prove
Adults: $ 19.95
325 5th Ave. N., just besides the Space Needle
- Chuck Welch & Catherine Lavallée
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