Takeoff at the Sky Room
On a recent Wednesday evening in downtown New York, a crowd gathered in the Sky Room on the top floor of the New Museum, eager to board a musical quasi-spaceship, titled Edge of the Universe. At the helm was Swedish electro-pop band Little Dragon, performing within an illuminated octagon made of white wood and perforated metal, topped with lucite and 18 glowing Samsung Galaxy S6 edge phones.
“We had some ideas of having a big jellyfish we would play on one side and having a gigantic steel pan on the other side,” percussionist Erik Bodin tells us of the band’s original idea for the installation. “Somewhere in the middle we turned out [with] a spaceship.”
Interactive art studio Odd Division—the brainchild of Aramique Krauthamer and Jeff Crouse—collaborated with Little Dragon to create the spaceship, and with some practice, Little Dragon learned to play Galaxy S6 edge devices as instruments. Lighting up with every touch, the innovative digital instruments took the place of laptops and drums, giving the band a new freedom to experiment. And as Bodin says, they approached the performance with the mindset of being “John Coltrane on Love Supreme.”
Throughout the performance, the exuding sounds invited the audience on a sonic adventure. Bassist Fredrik Källgren Wallin incorporated noises previously recorded by NASA; the band’s 2011 hit single “Ritual Union” was made new again within a haze of colorful projections; and Yukimi Nagano’s signature vocals took on a Sci-Fi quality, vibrating along with the electronic drumbeat. With the Galaxy S6 edge instruments and unique installation, it was an evening encapsulated best by Bodin: “We always try to reach somewhere we’ve never been before with our sound travels.”
LITTLE DRAGON’S SPACESHIP AND THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S6 EDGE PHONE INSTRUMENTS WILL BE ON VIEW AND AVAILABLE TO USE BY THE PUBLIC IN NEW YORK IN JULY 2015. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.