Tales From The Bridge
Composed and produced by Martyn Ware and David Bickerstaff
Millennium Bridge, London 27th July - 10th September 2012

Composed by Martyn Ware in collaboration with artistic director David Bickerstaff, 'Tales from the Bridge' is a mesmerizing three-dimensional soundscape covering the entire length of the Millennium Bridge. It features an hour-long looping immersive ambient electronic musical composition merged with an engaging spoken narrative written by the poet Mario Petrucci and voiced by Mia Austen and Steven Alexander, and the stunning Water Night by Eric Whitacre

Inspired by the fascinating history of the Thames and the stories life and times on both banks of the river,  Illustrious has created a contemplative auditory platform that links the City of London in the north with the Southbank and vice versa. Award-winning poet Mario Petrucci was invited by Bickerstaff and Ware to produce a collection of written passages assembled from literary forms such as short poems, atmospheric descriptions, local anecdotes, facts and figures. These beautifully conceived passages were collated into a script, then woven into the three-dimensional soundfield by Martyn Ware.

In addition, at the start of each hour, an astounding, invisible 3746-voice choir from 73 countries will perform Water Night by Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir composed by Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre, based on a short poem by Octavio Paz.

Also, interaction designer Daniel Hirschmann has created interactive technology which will enable a webcam mounted on the City Of London School to examine footfall at various points on the bridge, triggering sounds which will flow back and forth across the river. Visitors will therefore be able to participate in this unique and constantly changing composition.

Between July and September, between 8am and 10pm every day, the final composition will immerse the listener in an oasis of peace and contemplation, half-remembered dreams and thoughts, of meditation and learning. The Millennium Bridge will seem to be almost alive, speaking its own thoughts to over 4 million people during the exhibition period.

The installation has been commissioned by the GLA as part of their London-wide city dressing programme during the Olympic period and created with endorsement of The Noise Abatement Society.


Biographies

Martyn Ware                              www.illustriouscompany.co.uk

Born in 1956 in Sheffield. Formed the Human League in 1978. Formed multimillion selling act Heaven 17 in 1980, and is still touring around the world. As record producer and artist has featured on recordings totalling over 50 million sales worldwide during a 35-year career to date. Martyn founded Illustrious Co. Ltd. with Vince Clarke in 2000 to exploit the creative and commercial possibilities of their unique 3DAudioScape immersive sound technology in collaboration with fine artists, the performing arts and public and private institutions around the world.  He is also an expert in the ‘convergent’ multimedia art world, and has founded sound-branding company SonicID, and lectures extensively internationally. Martyn is a Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College, University of London, a member of BAFTA, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. He will receive an Honorary Doctorate from QMUL in July 2012. Major works include Sound Oasis (Mexico City 2006) and Soundlife London (Leicester Square 2010).

David Bickerstaff                         www.atomictv.com

David Bickerstaff is an artist and award-winning filmmaker who founded Atomictv in 1997 as an umbrella organisation for developing digital art projects and collaborations. His digtal and video works such as Channel 14, Muhammad Speaks, Forró, Braunschweig Tourist, and Heavy Water: a film for Chernobyl have been shown both in Britain and internationally. He was a member of the 2004 BAFTA judging panel for Interactive Art and is currently the Creative Director at Newangle Productions, a commercial partnership that produces video installations and interactives for museums and visitor attractions. He has won various awards for his projects including an Insight Award for Excellence from the National Association of Film and Digital Media Artists in the US.

Mario Petrucci                www.mariopetrucci.com

Mario Petrucci is a metaphysical poet of international standing, an ecologist and PhD physicist. He is the only poet to have been resident at the Imperial War Museum and with BBC Radio 3, and has received major literary prizes across the board (National Poetry Competition (3rd); four times winner of the London Writers competition; Bridport Prize (winner); New London Writers Award). His book-length poem on Chernobyl, Heavy Water (Enitharmon 2004), captured the prestigious Arvon Prize for poetry and forms the backbone of a powerful new film (Seventh Art Productions). His other volumes include Flowers of Sulphur (2007), i tulips (2010) and the waltz in my blood (2011). He devises courses for the Poetry School, the Poetry Society’s Poetryclass initiative and Arvon/Foyle Young Poets. Mario is something of a frontiersman in creative writing projects in the public domain, engaging successfully with the various Imperial War Museum sites and delivering groundbreaking writing packs that tie into science (The Royal Society/ Royal Literary Fund) and ecology (Poetry Society). Mario is married and lives in north London.

Eric Whitacre                              www.ericwhitacre.com

Eric Whitacre is a Grammy-award winning pioneer in composition who has a rare talent, combining originality with popularity. The innovation that he has brought to the music world through his ground-breaking Virtual Choir has brought exceptional visual and audio beauty to the digital space, creating a unique connection between singers around the world.  He is one of the most performed composers of our time, a distinguished conductor, broadcaster and public speaker with a wide spectrum of media and corporate engagements across the globe. A versatile composer, Eric has written for the London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Chanticleer, Julian Lloyd Webber and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin Rundfunkchor and he co-wrote the Mermaid Theme for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with legendary film composer, Hans Zimmer.  Eric is Composer in Residence at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, UK.

Daniel Hirschmann                   www.hirschandmann.com

Daniel Hirschmann is a South Africa born artist who uses technology, relationships and spontaneity to enable his artistic practice. His portfolio includes responsive sculpture, interactive spaces and generative prints which have been exhibited in shows around the world, most notably, the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art in NY, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the V&A in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Nice, and the Resolution Gallery in Johannesburg. He built on his Fine Arts studies with a Masters at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program – where he specialised in physical computing and interactive sculpture. He has lectured at various highly respected institutions around the globe.
In 2010 he founded Hirsch & Mann Ltd – an art and design consultancy based in East London which is focused on responsive objects and environments. In 2011 he co-founded Technology Will Save Us a haberdashery for technology and alternative education space helping people to become producers and not just consumers of technology.
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