Humberside

Humber Bridge noises recorded for sound installation

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Media captionComposer Jan Bang gives BBC Inside Out a preview of the installation.

Sounds made by the Humber Bridge have been worked into a piece of music which visitors can listen to as they walk its 1.4-mile (2.2km) length

The Height of the Reeds is an installation created by Opera North for Hull's City of Culture celebrations.

Hull-born actors Maureen Lipman and Barrie Rutter read a commentary over the top along with narration by seven-year-old Hull schoolgirl Katie Smith.

Norwegians Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang and Eivind Aarset composed the music.

Sounds from the bridge were recorded by Hull-based sound artist Jez Riley French.

They include the sound of the railings being "played" and vibrations captured from within the structure.

Image caption Norwegian composer Jan Bang said the music was "like blood running through your veins"

He used microphones so sensitive they could pick up sounds the human ear usually cannot hear.

He climbed into the vaults of the suspension bridge to record the noise of the traffic overhead.

Jan Bang said the challenge was "how could we blend the sound of different instruments into that?".

He said he then built melodies on top, with chords and sounds.

"The music just felt like it was a natural blood running through your veins," he said.

Opera North's project manager Jo Nockels said listening to the music as you walk across the bridge was a magical experience.

Image copyright Katie Smith
Image caption Seven-year-old Katie Smith was chosen to be the voice of the Height of the Reeds

"What's particularly amazing about it is that it makes you look at everything completely differently when you're listening as well," she said.

"You look at everything much more carefully - it's really great."

As people walk across the bridge wearing the special headsets, they will pass certain trigger points which will play music and narration.

The narration comes from schoolgirl Katie Smith, who was chosen from many who auditioned at Bude Park Primary School in Bransholme, Hull.

The Height of the Reeds opens on 1 April and runs until the end of the month. Tickets have already sold out.

You can see more of the BBC's exclusive access to the project on BBC Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire on BBC One on Friday 31 March at 19:30 BST, or later on the iPlayer.

Image copyright Tom Arber
Image caption Sounds from the bridge were recorded by Hull-based sound artist Jez Riley French
Image caption The musical installation was created by Opera North

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