Los Angeles, CA, May 2, 2017 — Visitors to the Paul Simon: Words & Music exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center, which runs from April 27 through September 3, 2017, can enjoy a hands-on experience with the artist’s top hits in the Roland interactive lab. Tracing Simon’s life and career, the main exhibition will display instruments, records, sheet music, handwritten lyrics, photography, costumes, listening stations, performance footage, and many never-before-exhibited or rarely exhibited items from Simon’s private archives. Upon entering the music lab, visitors will also have the rare chance to get more intimate with Simon’s most familiar work.
In cooperation with the Skirball Cultural Center, Roland developed a custom music lab that will enable fans and musicians alike to experience Simon’s recordings firsthand by keeping the beat to “Cecilia” in a communal drum circle, manipulating multi-tracks for “You Can Call Me Al” and “The Boy in the Bubble” using Roland mixing equipment, and more. The lab features five main music activity labs (Audio Mixing, Electronic Drum Circle, “Partch” Keyboard, Rhythm Mix & Match, and Harmonizer) with more than ten different interactive music stations that showcase a host of musical products for hands-on learning and fun. Featured Roland products include the ELCajon EC-10 Electronic Layered Cajon, Handsonic HPD-20 Digital Hand Percussion, Octapad SPD-30 Digital Percussion Pad, SPD-SX Sampling Pad, MX-1 Mix Performer, and more. The new BOSS VE-8 Acoustic Singer is also featured in the Harmonizer activity.
“The only West Coast stop for this traveling exhibition is right in our own backyard, so we wanted to create something special for the visitors,” states Roland Corporation U.S. VP of Marketing Chris Halon. “The interactive lab will give music lovers the chance to interact with Paul Simon’s hits and experiment on instruments with no previous experience necessary. And where else can you say you got to harmonize with Paul Simon on ‘50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’?”
Robert Kirschner, Museum Director of the Skirball Cultural Center, notes, “Our presentation of Paul Simon: Words & Music invites one and all to celebrate the life and legacy of this prolific artist, whose irresistible songwriting and landmark collaborations with artists around the world have built bridges of understanding and opened minds and hearts. By collaborating with Roland on the exhibition’s music lab, we’ve also provided guests with a unique opportunity to interact with Paul’s body of work and with one another.”
Born October 13, 1941, in Newark, New Jersey, Paul Simon rose to become one of the most influential and successful musicians of the past fifty years. Simon’s fame and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964.
When the duo parted ways in 1970, Simon launched a successful solo career, recording three highly acclaimed albums over the next five years and solidifying his status as one of the great American composers of the twentieth century. In the decades since, Simon has created beautifully crafted music that draws on diverse American musical genres as well as African American, Latin, South African, and West African sounds—notably on his 1986 landmark album, Graceland. Simon’s wide-ranging body of work is equally beloved for its musical vocabulary—style, rhythm, and instrumentation—and its compelling and poetic lyrics.
Simon has earned sixteen GRAMMY®s for his solo and collaborative work—three of which were for Album of the Year (Bridge Over Troubled Water, Still Crazy After All These Years, and Graceland)—as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. He is one of a small group of two-time inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: he was inducted in 1990 with Art Garfunkel and again in 2001 as a solo artist. In 2002, Simon was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2006, he was among the “TIME 100,” TIME magazine’s prestigious annual list of the “100 men and women whose power, talent, or moral example is transforming our world.” In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine named Simon one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists,” then named him one of the “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time” in 2015. Simon was the first recipient of the Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2007.
For more information about the Paul Simon: Words & Music exhibition, please visit http://www.skirball.org/about/press/2017/skirball-cultural-center-unveils-details-about-upcoming-exhibition-paul-simon-words.