SINGING THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE

SINGING THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE
Jon Rose

Jon Rose writes "In this project proposal, the internal sounds of the The Sydney Harbour Bridge are amplified, accompanied, and expressed by The Song Company (Australia’s national vocal ensemble). All the audio components are conducted and performed by the traffic passing over the bridge. The data for this conduction (rate and numbers of vehicles) are measured using a sensor strip placed across one of the traffic lanes. There are four kinds of sounds heard on this video recorded via the use of contact microphones - high and low pitched ‘vocal’ oscillations caused by the traffic, alarming clonks and shakes caused by the bridge heating up and cooling down, mechanical rhythms caused by the traffic crossing from section to section of the bridge, the whoosh of the traffic itself as heard through the vibrating giant metal limbs of the structure. Envisaged within this performance mix would also be a re-constructed key historical moment from the opening of the Bridge in 1932 – notably the sound and public appearance of the Wallaga Lake Aboriginal Gum Leaf band. Akin to the traditional jazz of Australia, this popular music of the time has been ‘disappeared’ from the official history of Sydney and its bridge. Gumbaynggir Elder Roseina Boston and gum leaf virtuoso would lead the proposed gum leaf ensemble. The video you are looking at is a simulacrum of the proposed ’singing up’ Bridge event. It was first proposed 15 years ago to The Sydney Festival, looks like we might have to wait another 15 years…"