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2016 Bridge Guard Residency, Sturovo, Slovakia -  'Bridge of Air' _____________ Blog _____ Vimeo

The Maria Valeria bridge crosses the Danube connecting Sturovo in Slovakia with Esztergom in Hungary, it is 500 meters long. It was repaired as late as 2001 after being destroyed by retreating Nazi forces in WW2. The Bridge Guard residency was established to honour this renewed connection of ruptured communities through art, literature or science.

The Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz compared a poem to "a bridge built out of air over air". Our project concerns itself with air in the form of human breath; principally song, which we believe expresses something fundamental about who we are and where we come from. Songs can cross borders of time, place, generations and language.

We set out to collect and record songs from individuals that live either side of the bridge, asking them to sing songs (without musical accompaniment) that possess a personal significance for them in their lives. For the final event we created sound interventions along the bridge, by lowering 5 Minirig speakers down into the girders. We created a unique sound composition for each speaker from the 27 songs we collected. We considered the order of the songs on the track list, and how the silences between them served to frame each song, as well as how all 5 sound compositions worked together, albeit at some distance from one another. The pedestrians on the bridge appeared delighted and intrigued by the installation. We enjoyed hearing the songs against the sounds of the bells from the Basilica and the barges that passed under the bridge, as well as the visual landscape surrounding us.


One of the sound compositions

 


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