Photo: © 2006, Spencer Ainsley for The Poughkeepsie Journal

Click to hear the Top-Twenty Billboard-charting first music composed for suspension bridge,  or here for NY Times video story.

Click here for a printable map & directions. Here for Google Maps, approaching the bridge from the east or from the west.

Joseph Bertolozzi’s latest public art project Bridge Music, is a unique sound-art installation featuring the Mid Hudson Bridge as the instrument itself.

Launched during the 400th anniversary celebrations in 2009 of Henry Hudson’s voyage up the Hudson River, Bridge Music was created by recording the sounds of bridge’s surfaces (guard rails, girders, etc.) with various mallets and using those sounds to compose new works, making the Mid Hudson Bridge the largest percussion instrument in the world. These performances of the bridge’s sounds are what one hears at the Listening Stations and on the park radios. The music contains no other tones than those of the bridge itself.

Photo: © 2007, Bob Rozycki for Westfair Business Publications

THE INSTALLATION – THE LISTENING STATIONS

The Listening Stations on the bridge’s towers are the most visceral way to experience this work. Press a button and hear the music of the bridge on the bridge.

Photo: © 2009 by Ed Thompson

The Listening Stations are open April 1 through Oct 31 and are free and open to the public.

THE INSTALLATION – THE PARK RADIOS

The Park Radios are for those unable to walk on the bridge or who arrive during inclement weather, and are found at 95.3FM within the parks flanking the bridge: Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie and Johnson-Iorio Park in Highland.

The Park Radios operate on 95.3 FM 24 hours a day, year-round and are heard exclusively within the parks on both sides of the river.

The attributes of the Bridge Music installation site include

  1. A beautiful bridge of human rather than superhuman scale in a majestic natural setting.
  2. Accessible public parks on both sides of the river near major roads and mass transport systems.

FINAL NOTE

The bridge’s designer, Ralph Modjeski, was a highly skilled pianist (he was a classmate of the famous Polish virtuoso Paderewski). He ultimately chose engineering as his profession and became one of the 20th century’s greatest bridge designers. Both as a pioneering engineer and a musician who loved the music of his own time, he would be intrigued to experience this boundary-shattering synthesis involving his beloved bridge and the music of our time.

DIRECTIONS

FROM THE WEST for Listening Stations and Park Radios

• NY State Thruway to Exit 18

• Head east on NY 299 to Poughkeepsie

• Right onto US 9W

• Left onto Haviland Road & Johnson-Iorio Park, just before the bridge exit.

FROM THE EAST for Listening Stations

• Taconic State Parkway to exit for Poughkeepsie/NY 55 West

• Exit onto US 9 just before the bridge

• Immediately merge onto US 9 North and take exit for Main St

• Left onto Main St, left onto Rinaldi Boulevard

• Right onto Gerald Drive, at sign for Bridge Music follow the pedestrian sidewalk onto the bridge.

FROM THE EAST for Park Radios

• Taconic State Parkway to exit for Poughkeepsie/NY 55 West

• Exit onto US 9 just before the bridge

• Immediately merge onto US 9 North and take exit for Main St

• Left onto Main St. to Waryas Park. Radio broadcasts can be heard throughout the park from the

circle at the bottom of Main St to the boat launch off North Water St.

FROM NEW YORK CITY by Rail

• Take Metro-North Railroad from Grand Central Terminal to the Poughkeepsie station

• Head towards Main St, immediately adjacent to the station and follow signs for Listening Stations,

or walk toward the river for the Park Radios.

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