German musician turns traffic din into symphonies

Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:33pm EDT
 
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BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - A German musician is touring Germany's largest cities using the sounds produced by passing traffic to create music with the help of eight specially designed instruments.

With his project "Urban Audio" (here), 33-year-old Florian Tuercke wants to investigate the musical and compositional potential of inner-city traffic.

As vehicles pass the instruments, shaped like large golden spheres which he sets up temporarily at busy crossroads, their strings vibrate and the sound produced is recorded and then mixed in a mobile recording studio.

"Drivers are creating a symphony specific to their town," the musician said. "The differences between the towns can be heard in the compositions -- in some towns drivers are more aggressive and use their hooters more, but in other towns they drive more quietly."

Passersby can listen to the music on headphones attached to the instruments and their reactions have been largely positive, according to Tuercke.

"Most people can't believe that traffic can make such meditative music -- they find it very calming," he said.

Tuercke hopes to bring out a CD containing clips of each city's symphony after the project's tour of Germany finishes in Berlin on October 3.

(Writing by Michelle Martin, editing by Paul Casciato)