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Thu September 23 2021

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Musician records duets with the Golden Gate Bridge

26 Jul San Francisco musician Nate Mercereau has taken the annoying hum produced by the Golden Gate Bridge and turned it into four instrumental ‘duets’.

“I saw a headline in the San Francisco Chronicle that said the Golden Gate Bridge humming is driving people crazy, and a team of engineers is working to shut it up", Nate Mercereau said. “When I heard phone recordings of the sounds the bridge was actually making, I knew there was potential to reframe these sounds as something unique and beautiful."

Mercereau has said that renovations to the bridge have caused it to vibrate and ‘sing’ in high winds, reverberating loud tones throughout the bay, effectively making it the largest wind instrument in the world.

“While I feel the pain of SF residents who are constantly subjected to this drone, there is nothing quite like hearing something so vastly large make that much sound powered by nature,” he said. “It's an all-encompassing immersive experience, even from a distance. The tones smear and crescendo as the wind picks up, and it gets so loud that at some points you can feel your own body vibrate with it. To get inside and create sounds with something so large and with that much history (including my own personal history of living in San Francisco) was an emotional experience. I could see my old neighborhood from the recording location! I hope that by sharing these duets I can offer a recorded artifact of a world-renowned monument, and also an alternate perspective on its reverberations as something special to be appreciated while it's happening.”

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He has made the tracks available online. Sound engineer Zach Parkes recorded Mercereau playing guitar synthesiser; Minea Bisset did the filming.

You can listen to Nate Mercereau's Golden Gate Bridge duets at natemercereau.lnk.to/GGBduets

Here's one of them:

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