This sound sculpture involved placing a sequence of 8 microphones below the steel grid roadway of the Cincinnati - Covington Suspension Bridge and transmitting the sound to a sequence of loudspeakers in the Federal Reserve Plaza, adjacent to the Contemporary Arts Center. This type of roadway produces musical, oscillating tones when traffic moves over the road surface. The faster the traffic was moving, the higher in pitch were the resulting tones.

Steel grid roadway Federal Reserve Plaza          
© Bill Fontana, 1996



Fog horn on bridge  


Landscape Sculpture with Fog Horns, San Francisco, New Music America, 1981


This was a live acoustic map of San Francisco Bay. Microphones were installed at 8 different positions around the bay in order to hear the multiple acoustic delays from the fog horns on the Golden Gate Bridge. Since the speed of sound is 1100 feet per second, this created a spontaneously contrapuntal texture. Sounds were broadcast to the facade of Pier 2, at Fort Mason Center along the San Francisco waterfront.

Pier 2, Fort Mason    

Roadway above bridge facing Manhattan Steel grid roadway

Location of microphones below roadway



OSCILLATING STEEL GRIDS ALONG THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, World Trade Center and Brooklyn Museum, New York,1983


This sound sculpture was created for the 100th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge. The steel grid roadway of the Bridge "sang" with oscillating tones whenever cars moved over its surface. A sequence of microphones was mounted below the roadway, simultaneously transmitting the singing sound to loudspeakers hidden high in the facade of the World Trade Center. The resulting oscillating drone hovered above the large plaza below.

Loudspeakers on World Trade Center World Trade Center Plaza