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7x7th Street

Summerhall, Edinburgh until August 27th 2012
4 stars
Seven and seven is....well, a very magic number indeed in Jean Pierre 
Muller's walk-through collaboration with musical icons including Robert 
Wyatt, Nile Rodgers, Archie Shepp and Terry Riley. Free-associating 
ideas based around the number seven (days a week, musical scales, 
colours of the rainbow), Muller has created seven wooden huts, each 
painted a different colour of the spectrum. Inside each, short snippets 
of music created by one of the composers surrounds the viewer as they 
walk towards an extravagant collage painted onto shape of a note from A 
to G.

From the outside, this brave new world looks part global village shanty 
town seen through a lysergic haze, part Sesame Street multi-cultural 
promised land. So for High Llamas auteur Sean O'Hagan's 'Mellow Yellow' 
shack, sound-tracked  by  exotically doleful banjo, there's big yellow 
taxis and yellow submarines; Ethiopian jazz genius Mulatu Astatke us 
awash with jolly green giants and green hornets; Rodgers' 
indigo-coloured 'Harlem Lights' is strictly disco.

The effect, as you promenade each, is of diving in to a very personal 
archive of jumbled-up pop culture associations that contrive to make up 
some dream state idyll. Like any boulevards, 7x7th Street is better occupied and 
full of bustling life. Nobody loves a ghost town, after all, and, as 
Muller attempts to catch the fantasy essence of Harlem, Chicago, Camden 
or the Cosmos – mystical meeting points of inspirational artistic 
endeavour all – the street-life in  big city seventh heaven playground 
makes it the ultimate 'hood to hang in. 

The List, August 2012

ends

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