To Di Mainstone, a suspension bridge isn’t just for walking or cycling over. It’s also a musical instrument.
The British artist translates the vibrations of bridge cabling to audible sound, turning infrastructure into something tuneful. A “movician” dancer/musician pulls strings through different attachments to the bridge, creating a variety of effects.
Mainstone demonstrated her idea on the Brooklyn Bridge in 2013. Now she’s at it again in Bristol, using the 150-year-old Clifton Suspension Bridge. Above is her atmospheric new video promoting the project.
“One by one she awakens the bridge’s suspension rods with a tap of her song-spoon and they issue a loud metallic yawn,” says the artist, talking of the movician. “She pauses by the rod which supplies the most pleasing tone, and watches as her bridge-playing apparatus jumps from her bag and attaches itself to the bridge’s soaring white shaft.”
We’ve seen “playable” interventions that make cities more fun, tactile, social–say, with musical traffic lights or sociable public benches. Di Mainstone’s Human Harp plays the city in another sense, tapping into its deepest groaning and rumbling.