10-12-2014

Bristol The Clifton Scale

Plucking each cable of Clifton Suspension Bridge

During a residency with Human Harp, Alessia Milo of Queen Mary University of London explored the parallels between Clifton Suspension Bridge and a harp or piano in that the rods or hangers on the bridge are halved in height every 12 hangers. This meant that the hangers of the bridge could naturally create a 12 tone octave.

“I went to Clifton Suspension Bridge to test if the bridge followed a 12 tone octave as Allesia had hoped, by recording of the “donging” of 41 suspension rods on Clifton Suspension Bridge. I donged each rod or hanger with a rubber ball starting with the longest (20 Meters)by the tower and moving to the shortest in the middle (about 50cm)!  Each dong was recorded using an accelerometer by Roland Trim of Arup.  Roland then transformed the recorded vibrations into a sound file using software – revealing a truly unique scale which we decided to name “The Clifton Scale”.   Please take a listen!” Di Mainstone