Open Mic at the District Architecture Center

First to clarify “Architect-Musician”, if there is any doubt, there are Itzhak Perlmans (Musicians) and there are Daniel Libeskinds (Architects).



Now this is fascinating: the violinist virtuoso and…the accordionist architect. Tel Aviv, 1959.

Daniel Libeskind on Being a Musician Before an Architect

From the Village Voice, “Libeskind’s a child-prodigy accordion player, a little moxie machine, pudgy fingers banging on the keys, boggling spectators with the sight, as one reviewer recalled, of “the strange, small accordionist onstage, hidden, except for his feet, by his bright red Sorrento, with its silver registers and ivory and ebony keys, the zigzagging folds of its bellows delineated with black and white stripes.” Daniel Libeskind, the architect-about-town who has overseen the hole in the middle of Lower Manhattan, was some kind of dervish, channeling strange spirits into that sleek squeeze box. Libeskind, he’s our hurdy-gurdy man.”

Now, why architecture is my day job, is why I wonder…why Architect-Musicians came out of the woodwork for the Open Mic at the District Architecture Center in Washington, DC. Is it possibly a left brain-right brain thing? A love of music and pattern and structure? Or a love of the musical instrument itself – the beauty in an object’s utility?


There is certainly a camaraderie, a team effort, a sum greater than the parts. Like in our work. And an opportunity to express yourself creatively, like in our work, making something, form-space, sound-silence.

There is also a certain satisfaction in serving our client-audience a little something more manageable and digestible, expressing ourselves and our ideas in just a few minutes time, than say the months and years it takes to serve up a whole building.

Here’s our take on a bluegrass standard, “Mountain Dew” at the Open Mic Night for would be Architect-Musicians. I hope you enjoy it. We did.