MASS MoCa harmonic bridge plays traffic in the key of C

Joshua Foer is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. Joshua is a freelance science journalist and the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura: A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica, with Dylan Thuras.


I was at MASS MoCa not long ago, but somehow managed to miss "Harmonic Bridge," an intriguing sound sculpture by the artists Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger. Atlas Obscura user CharlieCoats writes:

Artists Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger affixed two 16-foot-long
resonating tubes to the bottom of a highway overpass, and placed
microphones at specific intervals to pick up both the sound of traffic
and passing pedestrians. The sounds travel down to speakers encased in
concrete cubes on either side of the road below the bridge. The hum
generated by the device is a droning C, one so low its sound wave is 16
feet long (the reason for such long tubes).

The droning is a subtle presence that blends with the sounds of passing
cars, creating a unique sonic experience in a seemingly unimportant
location. An instrument literally played by the city, one whose
melodies are harmonious with the overall landscape of sound in the
urban world.

MASS MoCa – Bruce Odland & Sam Auinger: Harmonic Bridge