The Experience Music Project is a dual bravura
performance of music and architecture. It's the brainchild of Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and owner of a big hunk
of downtown Seattle real estate.
In 1991 he and his wife, Jody Patton, began amassing
a huge collection of Jimi Hendrix artifacts and decided to build a place for public display. This idea resulted in the ambitious
mega-salute to Hendrix , etal.
It seeks to "celebrate and explore creativity
as expressed in American popular music and exemplified by rock 'n' roll."
The place is filled with photos, memorabilia
(interested in seeing Michael Jackson's glove?), guitars, amps,and lots of interactive media, digital sound labs, mixing
consoles, "artists' journey" shows, performance stages, a "Sky Church," and all the bells and whistles of a museum, including
a shop, restaurant, and school and camp outreach programs for children.
"It's like we're trying to catch lightning in
a bottle-- in this case, the lightning is rock 'n' roll, and the bottle happens to be a 140,000-square-foot Frank Gehry building."
- Chris Bruce, curator
Frank Gehry, who loves to push boundaries,
designed the curves, steel ribs, skin, and interior walls with the aid of a 3-D computer modeling system (CATIA) developed
for the aerospace industry.
"I wanted to evoke the rock 'n' roll experience
without being too literal about it."
- Frank Gehry, architect
"What was different about this job? Everything!"
Colin Fowler, sprinkler fire protection foreman