Throwell hopes to record the sound of 1,000 cars beeping in harmony at 6 p.m., thanks to the work of volunteer “musicians.” To become a part of the symphony, participants e-mailed Throwell the make and model of their car, and they received an MP3 based on the tone of their car’s horn. They were instructed to honk their horns with the beat of the MP3.
Throwell’s previous performance projects have included a weeklong game of strip poker, as well as a flash mob called “Ocularpation: Wall Street,” which enlisted 50 performers dressed as bankers and other workers to get naked in the middle of the street.
The sound of car horns is already a part of the ambient music of L.A., and in a city so defined by its favored mode of transportation, many artists incorporate cars into their work. “The journey is most often seen as an obstacle, something to be calculated, cussed at, and through with as soon as possible. The instrument for these errands is as beloved as it is despised in the eternal push and pull between love and hate, the nest versus the coffin,” writes Throwell in his artist statement.
In addition to recording the five-minute symphony, Throwell will be participating, too. In an interview with KPCC, he said he will be renting from Hertz, and will ask them for a car with the best horn. He’s partial to one make, though: “I’m a big fan of the meat and potatoes of America — the Honda Civic horn is really something quite shrill and beautiful.”