7x7th Street (4 stars)

This article is from 2012

7x7th Street

Interactive sounds sculptures create a musical promised land

Seven and seven is, well, a very magic number indeed in Jean Pierre Muller's walk-through collaboration with musical icons including Robert Wyatt, Nile Rodgers, Archie Shepp and Terry Riley. Free-associating ideas based around the number seven (days a week, musical scales, colours of the rainbow), Muller has created seven wooden huts, each painted a different colour of the spectrum. Inside each, short snippets of music created by one of the composers surrounds the viewer as they walk towards an extravagant collage painted onto the shape of a note from A to G.

From the outside, this brave new world looks part-global village shanty town seen through a lysergic haze, part Sesame Street multicultural promised land. So for High Llamas auteur Sean O'Hagan's 'Mellow Yellow' shack, sound-tracked by exotically doleful banjo, there are big yellow taxis and yellow submarines; Ethiopian jazz genius Mulatu Astatke is awash with jolly green giants and green hornets; Rodgers' indigo-coloured 'Harlem Lights' is strictly disco.

The effect, as you promenade each, is of diving into a very personal archive of jumbled-up pop culture associations that contrive to make up some dream state idyll. Like any boulevard, 7x7th Street is better occupied and full of bustling life. Nobody loves a ghost town, after all, and, as Muller attempts to catch the fantasy essence of Harlem, Chicago, Camden or the Cosmos – mystical meeting points of inspirational artistic endeavour all -- the street-life in this big city seventh heaven playground makes it the ultimate 'hood to hang in.

Summerhall, 0845 874 3001, until 27 Sep (not 17, 18 & 19), hourly 11am—9pm, £1.

7x7th Street

  • 4 stars

Seven of the world’s greatest musicians, Robert Wyatt, Nile Rodgers, Terry Riley, Kassin, Archie Shepp, Sean O’Hagan and Mulatu Astatke, have created original compositions performed through interactive sound sculptures, which create the unique installation that is 7x7, presented as 7x7th Street at Summerhall. All ages.

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