It's not so easy standing on a moving train and playing the guitar. But that's exactly what Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and drummer John Moloney did, along with the singer Ariel Pink and some of his friends, while winding through the Great Allegheny Passage. Their performance is part of an art project-journey-collaboration from artist Doug Aitken called Station to Station.
That wobbly feeling you get as the train rolls into the mountains - and those rail vibrations - turned into rhythms and found their way into the music. As you'll see in the video, everyone is trying to find their place in the cacophony and chugs. At times, the music was simply throat-clearing as everyone got accustomed to the room — feeling the motion, perhaps experimenting with the multitude of Moog synthesizers and pedals placed around this mobile sound lab, and finding a voice.
This was the first of several performances scheduled to go down as the train makes its way across the country over the next few weeks. Musicians come and go along the way, and we're likely to discover how much they're inspired by place and motion. Stay tuned.