All Sound Systems Are Go – RBMA and Ryoji Ikeda Present…

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A [For 100 Cars]

This past weekend, electronic composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda teamed with Red Bull Music Academy LA 2017 to create a unique performance art piece perfectly in tune with the music, car, and art culture of Los Angeles.




The installation, titled A [For 100 Cars], created a symphony using the sound systems of, you guessed it, 100 different vehicles. Each played tones using a special sine-wave synthesizer tuned to a different standard pitch. While 440hz is the modern Western standard tuning, there have been a variety of tunings unique to different orchestras and conservatories across the world, and each car was tuned based on a different historical standard as outlined in the program.




As Los Angeles’ foremost automotive enthusiasts and appreciators of great art, we had to investigate.




The event took place on top of a parking structure in Downtown LA’s iconic historic core, right across the street from the iconic Disney Concert Hall. While no recording equipment could convey the unique experience as sound from each car evolved and interacted in a series of complex overtones, our intrepid reporter described the experience as the “intersection of a car meet up and the 2001 soundtrack.” The piece alternated between serene drones, pulsing rhythmic phasing, and bowel-shaking immersive bass tones. Luckily, it never quite located the resonant frequency of the garage, and so avoided shaking it to dust underneath the feet of onlookers.




Thanks to Ryoji Ikeda and Red Bull Music Academy for such a memorable piece!

Readers – how many of the vehicles can you identify? Comment your answers below and give us a follow on Twitter.

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