FEATURING: Phil Bicker, Shadrack Lindo for Studio Lindo, and Job Wouters aka Letman
EXHIBITION ARCHITECTURE: Olson Kundig Architects
Sonos Studio celebrated Blue Note Records’ 75th anniversary with BORN IN BLUE: REMIXED AND REISSUED, an immersive tribute to record collecting in the 21st century.
Since 1939, Blue Note LPs have delivered authentic jazz experiences to music fans around the world. Every pressing is accompanied by the iconic typography, graphics, photography and liner notes that continue to inspire. Jazz in particular is a genre that has emphasized the record itself as an object of importance - largely due to the original artwork of Blue Note.
For jazz aficionados and sample sleuths alike the record store is where you meet kindred fans, find new music - where magical moments from the studio or stage can be taken home and kept forever.
The exhibition featured classic Blue Note album artwork “remixed” by contemporary artists known for music packaging and design, selected records from the archives of Los Angeles' top jazz collectors, and a special "records-in-residency" by Amoeba Records which allowed visitors to purchase their favorite Blue Note titles. The corresponding public program series included a coffee and conversation with jazz pianist Kenny Burrell, an evening with local radio station KCRW and Jose James, and a lesson in jazz sampling for hiphop and electronic music with Dubspot and Mark de Clive-Lowe.
BORN IN BLUE's modular and kinetic architecture system inspired by vintage album crates and jazz improvisation techniques was developed in collaboration with Alan Maskin and Blair Payson of Olson Kundig Architects, who both specialize in museum and exhibit installations that fuse art and architecture. The firm’s experimental installation space in Seattle, Washington - called [storefront] Olson Kundig - included a functioning record store as idea incubator and cultural commons. The stackable album crates were reconfigured throughout the exhibition to provide seating for live performances, intimate listening stations and record displays.
BORN IN BLUE celebrated the in-tandem processes of art collecting and community making. Every record, remix, and listening experience was presented as syncopated signposts along the road of the audiences' own musical discoveries.
Images by Getty Images, Allison Pharmakis, and Suzanne Strong. All images courtesy of Sonos.
Video courtesy of One Beat.