The people of Hull are being invited to become sound explorers as part of a project that will see Scale Lane Bridge transformed into a giant musical instrument.
Funded by Hull 2017’s Creative Communities Programme, delivered in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, Playing the Bridge is series of workshops, performances and installations that draws on the Indonesian gamelan tradition that creates music by striking tuned metalwork.
Composer Nye Parry will lead sessions at Scale Lane Bridge this weekend (Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February from 10am to 4pm). In addition to experimenting with gamelan instruments, participants will be able to create sound using the bridge itself.
The workshops will culminate in a performance on 26 March 2017, in and on the bridge, featuring material created in the workshops as well as traditional and contemporary gamelan music.
Following this performance, an audio-visual installation inside the bridge (running throughout April) will reveal the inner workings of the swing bridge using projections by artist Madi Boyd that act like an x-ray, penetrating down to the mechanism and structure that lies beneath the visible surface. The projections will be accompanied by a spatial soundscape by composer Nye Parry that will combine recordings from the workshops with the reminiscences of people who constructed the bridge.
This spectacular audio-visual installation will provide visitors with x-ray like vision and will challenge their perception of space and movement
– Madi Boyd, artist
Working alongside the architect of the bridge, Jonathan McDowell, this multidisciplinary project is a collaboration with Hull Music Service, Hull Community Gamelan, York University Music Department and Hull University School of Arts and Media.
Composer Nye Parry said: “Sound and music have an extraordinary way of transforming a space while drawing people together. This project gives local people a unique chance to engage directly with the architecture of their city through music, and contribute to a multimedia experience that will re-define a local landmark.”
Artist Madi Boyd said: “The artwork will enable us to reveal and celebrate the hidden technology within the Scale Lane Bridge. This spectacular audio-visual installation will provide visitors with x-ray like vision and will challenge their perception of space and movement.”
Architect Jonathan McDowell said: “This is an intriguing opportunity to view the bridge through an entirely different lens and help people redefine their experience of its physical presence in the city. This installation will encourage the exploration of Scale Lane’s form, materials and history while also providing a fine excuse to bang on 350 tonnes of steel structure to make beautiful sounds, offering an alternative take on Larkin’s description of Hull’s “different resonance”.
Martin Green, CEO and director of Hull 2017, said: “By Playing The Bridge, participants and audiences will form a new relationship with and think differently about a city landmark. It is also a fantastic opportunity to learn a new instrument and be part of an amazing City of Culture project.”
Since its opening in 2013, Scale Lane Bridge has been heralded as a unique blend of infrastructure and public space and has won numerous national and international awards since it opened. It was designed to be a focus for regeneration, a new connection between the city centre and the underdeveloped east bank of the River Hull, and a new civic place for people to enjoy the riverside. It is the world’s first bridge that allows the public to ride on it while it moves and it has already become a cultural destination in the city in its own right.
By Playing The Bridge, participants and audiences will form a new relationship with and think differently about a city landmark. It is also a fantastic opportunity to learn a new instrument and be part of an amazing City of Culture project.
– Martin Green, Hull 2017
Following Nye Parry’s sessions at Scale Lane Bridge this weekend, gamelan sessions will take place on Monday 27 February, Wednesday 8 March, Monday 13 March and Wednesday 22 March at the Albemarle Music Centre, Ferensway at 7.45pm.
If you would like to get involved contact Laurence Rugg: firstname.lastname@example.org.