The cinema in Beirut's Soledere district was a prime example of 60s Modernist architecture. During the civil war the area in which it was situated became the centre of conflict, the Green Line, dividing the Muslim and Christian communities in the city. It was seriously damaged during the war, and is riddled with bullet holes both inside and out.

The oval structure was the main auditorium. I made two visits, one at dusk and another the following afternoon. In the main auditorium I stretched a fourteen metre length of piano wire taut between what remained of the steel frame that would have been the screen and a metal grid in the floor. I placed a piece of metal bar directly under the wire so it acted as a bridge, like in a guitar. I touched and "played" the wire using a microphone on the metal bar to record the sounds this contact made.

The sounds varied from a continuous dry, dragging sound to a deep reverberating harmonic.

The player will show in this paragraph

Beirut Wire

sound performance

Beirut, 2000