Eiffel Tower becomes musical tool for New York composer

Fri Jun 7, 2013 12:59pm EDT
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By Johnny Cotton

PARIS (Reuters) - Star of songs, sketches and the silver screen for over a hundred years, the Eiffel Tower is now taking the lead role in a musical composition which will see the landmark speak for itself.

The structure is an instrument for a piece to be entitled "Tower music" - a project conceived by U.S. composer Joseph Bertolozzi.

With latex mallets, drumsticks and even a large log wrapped in lambs wool in his box of tricks, Bertolozzi moves all over the 324-metre tower, hitting its surfaces with varying intensity and recording the sounds produced.

The idea is to weave them together, creating chords and melodies over a percussion base.

Bertolozzi's team have collected since May 27 nearly 2,000 samples from the iron structure's railings, panels and girders.

The 54 year-old who lives in New York, told Reuters on Friday that the idea came from his wife.

"My wife was mimicking the way I play my percussion with my arms flailing and everything. She was near a poster of the Eiffel Tower, took a swing at it and she went 'Bong!'," he said.

Inspired to make music with the monument, Bertolozzi had to overcome practical difficulties, notably his lack of French and the fact he had few contacts in Paris.   Continued...

U.S. composer Joseph Bertolozzi makes sounds by striking the surface of the Eiffel Tower for a musical project called 'Tower music' in Paris June 7, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier