There’s Honey on the Moon
2001


There’s Honey on the Moon is a large-scale architectural sound installation. The sandblasted plastic sculpture consists of two conjoined models of the Empire State Building, accompanied by three smaller “souvenir versions” of the 11-foot original. Six speakers hidden in the 11-foot tall work broadcast 20-minute loops of original music performed and composed by Tallichet. The romantic and energetic sounds of the metropolis emanate from the sleek and minimal edifice of these life-size miniatures, or monumental models. In the spirit of Walt Disney, who appropriated King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein fairy castle, pirate ships, and the Eiffel Tower, the artist redefined and reinvigorated a well-known structure by physically repositioning it and altering its original scale. These changes turn the reproduced icon into a tangible memory of itself.
The speakers are positioned at three levels, each broadcasting a distinct mix of instrumental and vocal music. Two voices, one male, the other female, act as the soul or humanizing element of the sleek structure as they trade compliments; “You are wonderful,” says one; “You are fantastic,” answers the other. The twinning of these towers and the flattering refrains they repeat present a mirrored image which serves to reiterate the monumentality of this preeminent icon.
The mixture of voices and musical tones coupled with the humorous and distinctly feminine nature of these sounds enlivens the work. The emphasis on string tones restates the linear architectural style of the Empire State Building while synthesized overtones emphasize the industrial nature and construction of the building thereby creating architectural principles in sound.
And, as Deborah Kerr said in An Affair to Remember, the Empire State building is “the closest thing to heaven we have in New York.” back