Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum

Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum

Experience Music Project | Science Fiction Museum, located in Seattle, Washington, is a museum dedicated to the history and exploration of both popular music and science fiction. It was founded by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, and is located on the campus of Seattle, Washington's Seattle Center. It is sited near the Space Needle and is by one of the two stops on the Seattle Center Monorail, which runs through the building. The building is home to both Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. EMP, SFM and the Monorail station are numbers 18, 39, and 20, respectively, on the map, all near the corner of 5th Avenue N and Broad Street. EMP|SFM has provided funding for radio station KEXP in partnership with the University of Washington. [cite web | first = Jeff | last = DeRoche | title = Radio Ga-Ga | publisher = The Stranger | date = April 12, 2001 – April 18, 2001 | url = http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=7007 | accessdate = 2006-11-24] EMP|SFM was also the site of the demo and concert program for the first international conference on New interfaces for musical expression, NIME-01 and the Pop Conference, an annual gathering of academic, critics, musicians and music buffs.

Experience Music Project

The museum contains mostly rock memorabilia and technology-intensive multimedia displays. Experience Music Project showcases rare artifacts from popular music history and allows the visitor to experience music through interactive exhibitions like Sound Lab and On Stage. The Northwest passage is dedicated to the history of Seattle Music, inluding Jimi Hendrix, Heart and grunge.

Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame

The Science Fiction Museum bills itself as the world's premier science fiction museum. It was founded by Paul Allen and Jody Patton and opened to the public on June 18, 2004. Members of the museum's advisory board include Steven Spielberg, Ray Bradbury, James Cameron, and George Lucas. Among its collection of artifacts are Captain Kirk's command chair from Star Trek, the B9 robot from Lost in Space, the Death Star model from Star Wars, the T800 Terminator and the dome from the film Silent Running. The X Prize trophy is currently on display in the museum's lobby. Cameras are prohibited inside the museum.The museum is divided into several galleries with a common theme such as "Homeworld," "Fantastic Voyages," "Brave New Worlds" and "Them!". Each gallery displays related memorabilia (movie props, first editions, costumes and models) in large display cases, posters, and interactive displays to sketch out the different subjects. "From robots to jet packs to space suits and ray guns, it's all here." [The New York Times Review. SFM. http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/north-america/united-states/washington/seattle/attraction-detail.html?vid=1154654608959]


The structure itself was designed by Frank Gehry, and resembles many of his firm's other works in its sheet-metal construction, such as Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Gehry Tower. Much of the building material is exposed in the building's interior. The building contains 140,000 square feet, with a 35,000 square foot footprint. The central "Sky Church" room pays homage to Jimi Hendrix and other rock 'n' roll icons using a convert|40|ft|m|sing=on high, convert|70|ft|m|sing=on wide video screen and an 18-panel montage of images.cite web | first = Winda | last = Benedetti | url = http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/emp/church.shtml | title = The Sky Church: A sanctuary for rock disciples | publisher = Seattle PI | date = 2000-06-22 | accessdate = 2007-06-19] The last structural steel beam to be put in place bears the signatures of all construction workers who were on site on the day it was erected. Hoffman Construction Company of Portland, Oregon was the general contractor.

Even before groundbreaking, the "Seattle Weekly" in discussing the design could refer to "the often quoted comparison to a smashed electric guitar"; indeed, Gehry himself had made the comparison: "We started collecting pictures of Stratocasters, bringing in guitar bodies, drawing on those shapes in developing our ideas." [Roger Downey, [http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/9807/features-downey.php Experience This!] , "Seattle Weekly", February 18, 1998. Accessed online 22 October 2006.] The architecture was greeted by Seattle residents with a mixture of acclaim for Gehry and derision for this particular edifice. "Frank Gehry," remarked British-born, Seattle-based writer Jonathan Raban, "has created some wonderful buildings, like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, but his Seattle effort, the Experience Music Project, is not one of them."cite web | first = Jonathan | last = Raban | url = http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=raban04&date=20040404&query=Raban | title = Deference to nature keeps Seattle from becoming world-class city] | publisher = "Seattle Times" | date = April 4, 2004 | accessdate =2006-11-24] "New York Times" architecture critic Herbert Muschamp described it as "something that crawled out of the sea, rolled over, and died."cite web | first = Erica C. | last = Barnett | url = http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=18487 | title = EMPty | publisher = "The Stranger" | date = June 17, 2004 – June 23, 2004 | accessdate=2006-11-24] "Forbes" magazine called it one of the world's 10 ugliest buildings. Others describe it as a "blob" [cite web | first = Lawrence W. | last = Cheek | url = http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/ae/286390_architecture26.html | title = On Architecture: Corrugated steel is a nice wrinkle | Publisher = "Seattle Post-Intelligencer" | date = September 26, 2006 | accessdate=2006-11-26] or call it "The Hemorrhoids".

Despite some critical reviews of the structure, the building has been called “a fitting backdrop for the world's largest collection of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia.” [Fodor's. "Experience Music Project Review". http://www.fodors.com/world/north-america/usa/washington/seattle/review-105822.html] The Outside of the building which features a fusion of textures and colors, including gold, silver, deep red, blue and a "shimmering purple haze," [Enlow, Clair. Frank Gehry Rock Temple. "Architecture Week." http://www.architectureweek.com/2000/0712/index.html ] has been declared "an apt representation of the American rock experience." [Skelton, Lauren. "EMP: Experience Music Project." Seattle.Net. http://www.seattle.net/entertainment/seattlemusic/musicarticles/emp/]

EMP Collections

Permanent exhibits include the "Northwest Passage" which is a hall containing exhibits on the history of popular music in the Pacific Northwest. Exhibits include Bing Crosby (Tacoma, Washington), The Kingsmen (Portland, Oregon), Heart (Seattle, Washington), The Presidents of the United States of America (Seattle, Washington), Sir Mix-a-Lot (Bremerton, Washington), Nirvana (Aberdeen, Washington, via Seattle), and Pearl Jam (Seattle, Washington) . Also included are some less famous artists including Queensrÿche (Bellevue, Washington), and bands far more obscure, such as The Pudz (Seattle, Washington). Numerous video clips show interviews and performance footage, and extensive commentary and additional recordings are available via iPod audio guides (specially programmed iPods that can be rented, for a fee, from a desk on the second floor).

"The Guitar Gallery" is dedicated to the history of the guitar. The massive sculpture entitled "Roots and Branches" was conceived by UK exhibit designer Neal Potter and developed by Trimpin and made largely out of musical instruments, especially guitars, which are played by electronically controlled devices. "The Sound Lab" allows museum-goers to learn the basics of playing various instruments and "On Stage" features a simulated onstage experience.

EMP introduced a travelling collection exhibit in 2002 entitled . It remained in Seattle, WA for one year, then in 2003 it moved to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI and in 2004 to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. It has since been retired.

EMP Exhibitions|Past Exhibitions

Current Exhibitions:

"Jimi Hendrix: An Evolution of Sound:" April 26, 2008 – April 11, 2010Exhibit illustrates Hendrix's musical evolution from his early days in Seattle, to his time as a journeyman musician touring the southern "chitlin' circuit" and in New York City, to his explosion on the popular music scene in London and beyond.

"American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print:" October 11, 2008- July 16, 2009Features the work of one of the nation's oldest operating printing shops—Nashville, Tennessee's Hatch Show Print—the exhibition highlights the uniquely American posters produced to advertise everything from vaudeville shows, state fairs and stock car races to the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley and Herbie Hancock.

EMP Past Exhibitions:

"Artist to Icon: Early Photographs of Elvis, Dylan, and the Beatles:" January 19, 2001 – May 1, 2001The exhibition includes 48 black-and-white photographs by five photographers. The photos, taken between 1956 and 1965 show early moments from Elvis, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles.

"Disco: A Decade of Saturday Night:" February 2003 – October 2003

"Nirvana:" April 2003 – October 2004Chronicles the first half of Nirvana’s career from 1987-1990, among the collection was rare 1990 footage of the band in Olympia, Washington, including Dave Grohl's first appearance as their drummer.

"Milestones:" April 2003 – October 2004Featured a series of interconnected exhibitions celebrating diverse expressions of creativity and the independent spirit of rock 'n' roll. Highlights included the roots of rock, a focus on three key innovators—Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Janis Joplin.

"Paper Scissors ROCK: 25 Years of Northwest Punk Poster Design:" May 2003- September 2003This exhibit explored the last 25 years of music-related poster art from the Pacific Northwest.

"Jimi Hendrix:" June 7, 2003 – August 5, 2007

"Sweet Home Chicago, Big City Blues, 1946-1966 Traveling Exhibition:" September 2003 - January 2004

"Annie Leibovitz:" November 2003 - January 2004

"Springsteen - Troubadour of the Highway:" January 2004- April 2004

"Costumes from the Vault:" June 2004- January 2007This exhibit featured costumes and clothing from a variety of musicians, superheroes and science-fiction stars. Included were Michael Jackson’s sequined jacket and jeweled glove, Jimi Hendrix’s “psychedelic dandy” outfit, and the Superman costume from the original television series.

"Beatlemania! America Meets the Beatles, 1964:" February 2004- December 2005

"Songcraft: The Art & Craft of Songwriting:" July 2004-January 2006

"Bob Dylan’s American Journey, 1956-1966:" November 2004 – October 2006

"Yes Yes Y’all: The First Decade of Hip-Hop:" June 18, 2005 - January 6, 2008

"Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion:" May 2006 - October 2006

"Disney: The Music Behind the Magic:" November 4, 2006 - September 9, 2007

"American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music:" October 13, 2007 - September 7, 2008The first interpretive museum exhibition to tell the story of the profound influence and impact of Latinos in American popular music. The exhibition was created in partnership with guest curators from the University of Washington.

"Message to Love: Remembering and Reclaiming:" January 26, 2008 - April 6, 2008Jimi Hendrix exhibit focused on the visitor’s experience and the visitor connection with Hendrix.

All exhibition information from EMP|SFM Website [Experience Music Project | Science Fiction Museum, Exhbitions. 2008. http://www.empsfm.org/exhibitions/index.asp ]

FM Current Exhibit

"Robots: A Designer's Collection of Miniature Mechanical Marvels:" May 16, 2008 - May 3, 2009 A Collection from designer Tom Geismar. Inspired by antique tin and wooden toys, samurai warriors and mid-20th century Japanese film characters.

FM Past Exhibits

"Alien Encounters:" September 10, 2006 - October 30, 2007 Featured 33 original paintings of artists’ envisions of aliens over the past 70 years. Artists included Frank Kelly Freas and Ed Emshwiller.

"Out of this World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television:" June 16, 2007 - September 30, 2007 Featured costumes from Star Wars, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and many more of the most popular films and television shows of all time.Innersphere: Sculptural Works by Rik Allen: November 17, 2007 - April 27, 2008 Featured glass and metal sculptural rocket ships symbolizing journeys of outward exploration and inward discovery by Washington artist Rik Allen

cience Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival

Now in its fourth year, the Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival is in partnership between EMP|SFM and the Seattle International Film Festival Group (SIFF). The festival will be presented in Seattle, Wa February 7, 2009.

Mission & Objective: The Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival promotes and encourages an awareness, appreciation and understanding of the art of science fiction and fantasy cinema. Its mandate is to create a forum for creative artistry in science fiction and fantasy film and recognize the most outstanding short films produced.

Submissions: From June 1 through September 15, 2008, the Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival will accepted short film submissions, up to 15 minutes in length, that had been produced after 2004 for entry into the competition. Submissions will be judged based on originality, quality, artistic merit, innovation, voice, style and narrative. The Festival accepted animated or live-action submissions in science fiction and fantasy.

Jury: A nationally recognized panel of distinguished film, television, literature, and science fiction industry professionals, peers and film critics review qualifying submissions. The chosen entries will be screened in competition during the festival, which will take place on January 31 OR February 7 (exact date TBA), 2009, at the Cinerama Theatre in Seattle, Wash. Prizes, to be announced, will be listed at empsfm.org.

cience Fiction Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame was founded as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1996 by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (Kansas City, Missouri) and the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. The Hall of Fame moved to Seattle in 2004, stopped recognizing fantasy authors, and became part of the Science Fiction Museum. At the time of its founding, only authors were eligible for inclusion. Beginning in 2005, the Hall of Fame was expanded to include media outside the literary, and reduced the number of authors honored each year from four to one. Nominations and inductions are now made in four categories: Film, Literature, Media, and Open. Since its founding the Hall of Fame has had two Chairmen: Keith Stokes (1996-2001) and Robin Wayne Bailey (2002-present).


The museum has not been a financial success. [John Cook, [http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/layoff.asp?id=398 Recent layoffs at local companies: Experience Music Project] , "Seattle Post-Intelligencer", January 8, 2002. Accessed online 22 October 2006.] [Associated Press story, [http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2005-03-22-emp-seattle_x.htm Experience Music Project still struggling five years later] , "USA Today", March 22, 2005. Accessed online 22 October 2006.] In an effort to make ends meet, the "blue blob" at the south end of the museum — which originally housed the "Artist's Journey" exhibit, resembling an amusement park ride centering around an elaborate film of a Woodstock Jimi Hendrix performance — now houses the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.

In an effort to raise more funds, museum organizers used Allen's extensive art collection to create a 2006 exhibit within the confines of the EMP. [Sheila Farr, [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002652590_allenart29.html Paul Allen's Experience Art Project] , "Seattle Times", November 29, 2005. Accessed online 22 October 2006.] The exhibit, which had nothing to do with either music or science fiction, was entitled "DoubleTake: From Monet to Lichtenstein". The exhibit included Roy Lichtenstein's "The Kiss" (1962), Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "The Reader" (1877), Vincent van Gogh's "Orchard with Peach Trees in Blossom" (1888), Pablo Picasso's "Four Bathers" (1921) and several works of art from Claude Monet including one of the "Water Lilies" paintings (1919) and "The Mula Palace" (1908). [ [http://www.doubletakeexhibit.org/press/index.asp?dt=032106 Full List of Works Announced for Upcoming DoubleTake: From Monet to Lichtenstein Exhibition] , press release on the exhibit's official site, March 21, 2006. Accessed online 22 October 2006.]

A subsequent exhibit — "Sound and Vision: Artists Tell Their Stories", which opened February 28, 2007 — had far more connection to the museums' missions. The first exhibit at the complex to bring together both music and science fiction in a single exhibit, "Sound and Vision" draws on EMP's and SFM's collections of oral history recordings. [ [http://www.emplive.org/exhibits/index.asp?categoryID=60 A Legacy of Sound and Vision: The EMP Oral History Program] , EMP site. Accessed online 4 March 2007.]

When EMP opened in 2000, a one-day ticket to the single attraction had been priced at $19.95. Beginning March 31, 2007, "...after six years of criticism from some community members who felt that the cost of admission made the museum a tourist destination, rather than an educational and recreational resource for locals", the price of a combined admission to EMP and SFM have been cut to $15 for adults, and $12 for children and seniors; there will no longer be a separate admission to each of the two museums. [Haley Edwards, [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/artsentertainment/2003616363_webemptickets14.html EMP and SFM slash their ticket price] , "Seattle Times", March 14, 2007. Accessed online 24 March 2007.]

Visitor Information

Museum Hours [Experience Music Project. Visit|Hours. http://www.empsfm.org/visit/index.asp 2008. ]

Winter Hours (September 2, 2008 - May 21, 2009)Open Daily, Monday - Sunday10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Closed: Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

"All Access Nights at EMP|SFM:"First Thursday evening of every month: Free from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm


External links

* [http://www.emplive.com/ EMP|SFM official website]
* [http://www.empsfm.org/education/index.asp?categoryID=211 SFM Recommends]
* [http://www.seattlewiki.org/wiki/Experience_Music_Project SeattleWiki: Experience Music Project]
* [http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Experience_Music_Project.html Experience Music Project at greatbuildings.com]
* [http://hct.ece.ubc.ca/nime/2001/ New Interfaces for Musical Expression – NIME-01]

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