Lou Reed Recreating Experimental ‘Metal Machine Music’ As Museum Installation
Lou Reed has collaborated with artists Ulrich Krieger and Sarth Calhoun for a special project called the Metal Machine Trio: ‘The Creation of the Universe.’ This audio installation is a modern take-off of Reed’s 1975, noisy, confusing and extremely experimental record called ‘Metal Machine Music.’
Nearly four-decades later, people are still talking about a recording that most of the world (especially Reed's label at the time, RCA Records) considered insufferable. Krieger approached it differently and created an orchestral arrangement of the album that impressed Reed greatly.
Reed and Krieger proceeded to collaborate with Calhoun, creating the Metal Machine Trio that will now be showcased as an “ongoing improvised idea,” as Reed told The OC Weekly. “We’re creating new songs using different electronics and different sounds.”
Metal Machine Trio -- occasionally referred to as the MM3 -- promises an ambisonic 3-D recreation, and will use 12 loudspeakers arranged to create a fully-immersive 3-D sound lab. It’s presented in four parts, with each composition clocking in around 16 minutes. Warning: there will be an hour of over-modulated feedback and guitar effects mixed at various speeds by Reed.
Museum visitors may choose to sit in the strategically placed chairs in the room, in case they like to take their aural beating while sitting down. It’s almost as if Reed is double-daring his fans to get comfortable and fully absorb the 3D-re-creation of ‘Metal Machine Music.’ Reed knows that even his loyal listeners have rarely listened to ‘Metal Machine Music’ in its entirety, let alone in one sitting.
The opening of this world premiere installation kicked off with Reed and producer Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Kiss) sharing the stage last night (Jan 27) at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, Calif. 'MM3' runs through April 15 at the University Art Museum in Long Beach, Calif.