The Experience Music Project is a museum of music history, located on the campus of Washington’s Seattle Center, in Seattle. It is situated near the Space Needle and is one of two stops of the Seattle monorail.
The Experience Music Project was conceived by Paul Allen – the co-founder of Microsoft – and Jody Patton. The early inspiration for the museum was Allen’s desire to share his collection of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia – then the world’s largest – with the public.
The initial planning soon gave way to a broader cultural mission, and thus took birth this unique music destination where young and old could equally enjoy and feel for themselves the splendor of American popular music.
The 140,000-square-foot EMP building was designed by architect Frank O. Gehry. The sheet metal construction of the exterior was curvy, shiny, and colorful, which invariably conjured up a mix of praise and criticism from the public. For some, it was evocative of a melted guitar while for some others call it “The Blob."
Inside the Experience Music Project, one will come across a world of music, where the past, present, and the future of music meet in a rare combination. Its collection includes more than 100,000 artifacts that helped shape the music history of the United States.
As visitors walk around in the museum, they come to explore the rarest of musical instruments, various musical milestones, an extensive recorded sound archive, film, photographs, fanzines from around the world, stage costumes, handwritten song lyrics, and rare song sheets – a collection that is unmatched anywhere in the world.
Also featured is an interactive Sound Lab, which encourages visitors to try their hand on guitars, drums, and keyboards – with help from a tutorial that teaches the basics of each instrument – and lets them create their own band.
It will take at least two hours to see the museum in some detail. If one chooses an expansive visit, poring over the exhibits, it will literally take hours on end before he or she might emerge from the museum.
See Dave Brubeck .