Larger than a grand piano

A vibrating or even oscillating bridge can be fun, scary, possibly dangerous – but, thanks to Bill Fontana, now it can be musical, too. Fontana is an America artist who turned London’s MilleniumBridge (wow, the English do that strange thing with capital letters in the middle of words, too) into a musical instrument: the HarmonicBridge.

The vibrations of various parts of the bridge are tracked by a network of accelerometers and translated into a ‘soundscape’ that can be heard in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, at one end of the bridge, and at Southwark station.

According to the Tate website,

The thicker suspensio cables resonate with the inner solidity of the bridge which flexes but remains constant, while the thin wires below the handrail create an idiosyncratic complex of jangles and twangs. Vibrations caused by wind, boats, wheelie bags or footsteps register in different ways to create a spectrum of contrasting rhythms, tones and percussive shimmers.

If you want to hear the Harmonic Bridge, hurry: the installation is there till 16 July.