Silent Echoes – Sound Installation Finnieston Crane

silent echoes18th April – 3rd May, 2013



World renowned sound artist Bill Fontana is set to unveil his latest ground-breaking project in Glasgow this April when he transforms the city’s iconic Finnieston Crane into a musical instrument.

Fontana has created works around some of the world’s most iconic buildings and locations including the Arc de Triomphe, and Chesil Beach. His last installation marked the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge and attracted global media interest. He will apply similar groundbreaking techniques to those used in San Francisco to the Finnieston Crane. By attaching super-sensitive microphones to tap into the deep sounds the crane makes (which are not audible to the human ear), and marrying these deep sounds to an extraordinary visual of the crane, he shows us the familiar structure as we have never seen or heard it before. This brand new installation, Silent Echoes – Finnieston Crane – Glasgow will be revealed on 18th April at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art. Live sounds and images from the crane will be transmitted via satellite to a specially created structure located under the portico at the entrance to GOMA, immersing visitors to the gallery in the sounds of the crane, accompanied by mesmerizing visuals of the crane.

The project is the first of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music’s Glasgow Commissions, which will celebrate the vibrancy and rich heritage of the city and its culture by inviting international artists to draw inspiration from it. Bill Fontana is one of the world’s leading sound artists, who developed an international reputation for his pioneering experiments in sound, using the most sophisticated technology available to create pieces which are moving, poetic and rich. He uses sound as a sculptural medium to interact with and transform perceptions of landscape and architectural settings. These have been installed in public spaces and museums around the world including San Francisco, New York, Paris, London, Berlin, Venice, Sydney and Tokyo.

His latest installation in Glasgow, commissioned by Glasgow UNESCO City of Music, with support from Creative Scotland, is the culmination of more than a year of development and work which has also seen Fontana give a seminar on his work and practice in the city.

Svend Brown, Director of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music said: “One thing Glasgow UNESCO City of Music does is to draw attention internationally to the fantastic home to arts and creativity that Glasgow is. By linking top class international work like Bill’s to iconic aspects of our landscape we take the name of Glasgow far and wide, we give the world a great piece of art – and we get to see the city through a stranger’s eyes: Bill’s work on the Crane has been an inspiration to the whole team. We’re thrilled to be working with him on our very first Glasgow Commission – this series will continue to see more of the world’s greatest artists create work reflecting our city and its history.”

Bill Fontana said: “I’m incredibly excited to be staging my latest installation in Glasgow – it’s a wonderful city with an international reputation for its vibrant music scene and rich industrial heritage. The Finnieston Crane is an emblem of the city’s engineering past, and I hope this project will uncover sounds that will fascinate and surprise the people of Glasgow and beyond, as well as tap into the history of this iconic structure.”

Silent Echoes will run until 3rd May

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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