Seattle: Experience Music Project

Went to see the Bob Dylan show. It’s similar to the Jimi Hendrix show—the same kind of detailed biography told through ephemera. Better video here. Lots of small sound and video booths that work well. Technical problem: the buttons don’t light up! You don’t know what selection you’re listening to. In designing these things, good to think about the person who walks up after someone has already pushed the button!..

Did a decent job of covering the cultural background, the politics of folk music. Took Dylan at face value when he said, looking back, that he didn’t have any politics. His memory at the very least needs to be challenged—which maybe it was, subtly, by the pictures in the early sections. Not much on his contemporaries—Phil Ochs, Tom Rush? Etc.

Visitors enthralled.

Music leaks out a bit but works well. In the general spaces you hear it from several directins, but in the booths you only get the one you’re supposed to. This is just right.

Songwriting exhibit had excellent use of technology to let you see what was harmony, melody, rhythm, etc.—sliders to turn parts of the music on or off, switches, keyboard to play melody…

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