Making Sound Art with Accelerometers on the Golden Gate Bridge

Using accelerometers, microphones, speakers and amplifiers, composer Bill Fontana has been making sound art since the 1970s.

Big Ben, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Arc de Triomphe are just some of the locations that Fontana has worked on.

Fontana has recently begun work on wiring up San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge with accelerometers to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

“I really want to release that inner sound,” he says. “I have been climbing all over the bridge with some signal analyzers and having fun testing it out for the installation. It’s an alive structure, and tapping into that is very exciting. Putting an accelerometer on either side of an expansion joint on the bridge sounds great, almost like something that chimes.”

Alongside plenty of other equipment, his Brüel & Kjær Charge Amplifier Type 2635 stands out due to the great control it gives over the signal you get. With input for transducers like accelerometers or hydrophones, and an audio output, it can connect structures to a variety of reproduction sources.

Learn more from Brüel & Kjær.


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