Architect Magazine | String Theory Press

Architect - The Magazine of the American Institute of Architects

Architect Magazine

Arts and Culture
By Deane Madsen

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to Become Giant Harp
Los Angeles's String Theory Productions specializes in turning architecture into musical instruments.

Any musician can use an instrument to make beautiful music in a concert hall, but creating an instrument out of the concert hall itself takes an entirely different set of skills. Such installations are the trademark of String Theory Productions, a group of musicians and dancers, which transforms architecture into resonant, sonic sculpture by attaching a harp to buildings via tuned copper wires. Each performance brings a different set of variables, yet by adjusting tension on the wires, String Theory creates the same eerie thrum in whatever setting they encounter, from the landscape of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House to the curving cityscape of Gehry Partners' Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Founded by husband-and-wife duo Luke and Holly Rothschild, with composer and cellist Joseph Harvey, the collaborative group specializes in performances that blur the lines between classical, contemporary, and rock, with dancing performed beneath their installations choreographed by Holly Rothschild. The Los Angeles–based group's recent performances include gigs at UCLA's Schoenburg Hall and the Eli & Edyth Broad Stage in Santa Monica; they have also played large-scale productions including the 2006 Grammy Awards. This weekend they will install and perform at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which was designed by Fumihiko Maki, Hon. FAIA, and James Stewart Polshek, FAIA, as part of Yerba Buena Night.

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