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"Louie, Louie," was commissioned by the U.S. General Services Administration as part of Art in Architecture Program, and installed in the lobby of Edith Green–Wendell Wyatt Federal Building. It was part of the Edith Green–Wendell Wyatt Modernization Project.

The sculpture is a translation of the eponymous popular song into the 80 cast acrylic panels. Each is a 3-D depiction of the sound waves that make up the 80 bars of the song and has a unique color combination that corresponds to the changing chords of the musical composition. The forms evoke fluidity as they are viewed from different angles, in every light throughout the day referencing the “sound that runs all around and through us at all times.”

Originally recorded in Portland in 1963 by both The Kingsmen, and Paul Revere and The Raiders, “Louie, Louie” was an obvious choice for the project as a geographically significant contribution to the genre of pop rock. In the process of reasearching the piece, Bavington learned that the building where “Louie Louie” is located, once housed FBI offices, and that the 1963 recording of the song became the subject of an FBI investigation for allegedly indecent lyrics. The investigation was dropped after two years, as the song was found to be indecipherable. 

In 2014 U.S. General Services Administration chose Edith Green–Wendell Wyatt Modernization project for the Design Excellence Award.

Project Information

Louie, Louie, detail

Louie Louie, 2013, installation view

Eric Minh Swenson interview, 2012

Studio Crasher Intervew, 2013

Installation view

Installation view 

Installation view 

The Kingsmen, 1964. From left: Mike Mitchell, Barry Curtis, Dick Peterson, Lynn Easton, and Norm Sundholm. Photo courtesy of Dick Peterson

The Kingsmen's Dick Peterson (left) and Mike Mitchell (right) in the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building "Louie, Louie" sound waves

The Kingsmen, "Louie Louie," 1965 (Stereo)

Spectogram of "Louie, Loiue" soundwaves 

GSA Art in Architecture Program video

Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building

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