What a good day it was yesterday ‘Playing the Bridge’ for a cool collaboration which transforms Scale Lane Bridge into an interactive musical instrument as part of Hull 2017 City of Culture. Playing the Bridge is an artistic commission and performance devised by bridge architect Jonathan McDowell and composer Nye Parry who are both Gamelan players – and coordinated here by Hull Gamelan’s Laurence Rugg. The soundscape piece we created yesterday will be performed on Scale Lane Bridge on March 26th alongside music which our Gamelan group has been working on with Laurence. Like the Gamelan, the bridge can be played by striking the metal work to make tuned sounds.
So yesterday Hull Gamelan players joined up with York University Music Department and Hull Music Tech students and spent the day making amazing sounds using Gamelan mallets on the bridge’s metal panels and girders as the main instrument. We explored the sounds of the bridge to create a soundscape – big gong sounds using huge metal panels from inside & outside the chamber, drones of cellos, viola, harmonium, wind instruments and metallic bridge parts, building to huge ominous crescendos and diminishing to delicate hums.
You can hear the performance on March 26th 2pm at Scale Lane Bridge. The composition will also be incorporated in a multi-media installation inside the Bridge throughout April with projections by artist Madi Boyd showing the inner workings of the swing bridge.
Corey, Dex, Zach and I had a wonderful time exploring the Bridge and the sounds we all generated. Rich took these photographs to document the workshop for the project.
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Photographs © Rich Duffy-Howard
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