The Washington Post

Car-horn symphony is music to L.A.’s ears

A Cadillac CUE. (GM/WIECK)

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.”

[Via LaughingSquid]

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
This isn't your daddy's gun club
A look inside the world of Candomblé
It's in the details: Five ways to enhance your kitchen makeover
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
The rise and fall of baseball cards
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Play Videos
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
The art of tortilla-making
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
How hackers can control your car from miles away
How the new credit card chip makes purchases more secure