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Get the iPad & iPhone app: "Play The Golden Gate Bridge"

       Playing The Golden Gate Bridge (see NEWS below!)

NEW DVD RELEASED!

Buy it now at Amazon.com and CD Baby as well as inside the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion Store

This DVD is a visual documentation of the process of creating both the music and the film of "A Day in the Life of the Golden Gate Bridge," a tribute for its 75th Anniversary. Follow the journey of exploration and discovery with the 23-minute documentary, the short feature art film, live performance clips, and more. The DVD features the 22-minute documentary "The History of Playing the Golden Gate Bridge" and the backstory of creating the app — See the DVD Movie Trailer here: VIMEO and YouTube

When the San Francisco Synthesizer Ensemble created their new piece of music for the Golden Gate Bridges' 75th Anniversary, 'A Day in the Life of the Golden Gate Bridge,' they used only the sounds of the Bridge and its environs throughout the piece. The title inspired the thought that they should make a short film of the same name using the new music as the sound track. With only weeks to go before the May 27th celebration in 2012, Paul J. de Benedictis, Doug McKechnie (see photo) and Paul's son, film director and editor Julien de Benedictis, set about creating a visual worthy of their music. The visuals were shot all in one day from early morning to late in the evening. The resulting 4-minute film is a compliment to both the visual and auditory experience, evoking the spirit of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Digital technology allowed the Ensemble to capture the sounds of the Bridge: the main cable, the vertical cable 'strings,' the guard rails, the main tower, the light stanchions and even the sounds of vehicles crossing the span, and meld them together, multiplying and dividing harmonics and overtones inherent in the bridge itself, to tease out the musical elements of the bridge. Matched with the natural sounds of the waves, foghorns, sea gulls, and wind, the result is enchanting, enormous and exciting. Each frame of the movie matches the sound for beauty.

XTRAS: The DVD also has historical clips of the San Francisco Synthesizer Ensemble performing live, as well as a video demo of the third part of the adventure of creating the music and the movie: the creation of the Apple iPhone and iPad app "Play The Golden Gate Bridge," that lets 'anyone play the Bridge like a musical instrument.'

DVD cover
day in the life

NEW MUSIC: The San Francisco Synthesizer Ensemble has released a new piece of music, “A Day in the Life of the Golden Gate Bridge,” using only the sounds from the Bridge itself. Go to iTunes and check it out HERE The new music is also the soundtrack to our movie with the same name, watch it HERE.

The 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge inspired the San Francisco Synthesizer Ensemble to revisit the idea of creating a unique piece of music for the celebration. Not content with simply duplicating what they had done 25 years earlier, Doug McKechnie and Paul de Benedictis realized that digital technology has advanced to the point where it has become possible to create a complex piece of music of symphonic scale using only the sounds of the Bridge and its environs. Back onto the span with their trusty Flat Response Audio Pickup in hand and a new digital recorder, McKechnie & de Benedictis sampled anew the various parts of the bridge.

Digital technology today allows the Ensemble to take the sounds of the main cable, the vertical cable ‘strings,’ the guard rails, the main tower, even the light stanchions and the sounds of the movement of vehicles crossing the span, and meld them together, multiplying and dividing harmonics and overtones inherent in the bridge itself, to tease out the extraordinary musical elements of the bridge. The result is enchanting, enormous and exciting. We decided to let everyone 'Play the Bridge' too with our new App check it out HERE.

REISSUED CD: SFSE has re-issued their 1987 CD "50th Anniversay Suite for the Golden Gate Bridge" Get the Album at iTunes HERE The CD is also available at the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion Store near the South end of the Bridge.

Playing the Golden Gate Bridge like a ‘musical instrument’ was the inspiration behind Doug McKechnie, Michael Phillips and Arnie Lazarus stealing onto the Bridge around midnight in August of 1975 and capturing the sounds of the bridge with Arnie’s new invention, the FRAP: Flat Response Audio Pickup. Twelve years later, after the invention of the EMAX sampler keyboard, McKechnie and his composer-colleagues of the San Francisco Synthesizer Ensemble were able to play the bridge as a musical instrument, creating their Anniversary Suite for the Bridge’s 50th Birthday on May 27th, 1987. This CD showcases the original Suite as well as the actual ‘Sounds of the Golden Gate Bridge.’

In 1975 Doug McKechnie and a small group of musicians, scientists and inventors leased the Golden Gate Bridge between 2 and 4 a.m. for $13.50 an hour and recorded the sounds of striking the vertical cables, guard rails, light posts, and the main suspension cable with a wooden mallet. Their dream to “play the bridge” was inspired by the cover of the first issue of Musicworks Magazine featuring artist David Wills’ drawing of an alien robot plucking the bridges’ cables like a harp.

12 years later, with the invention of the EMAX sampling keyboard, McKechnie gathered ‘The San Francisco Synthesizer Ensemble’ (SFSE) together to complete the dream and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1987. Each musician in the band composed a piece of music inspired by the bridge, some pieces using the “sounds of the bridge itself.” Also showcased on this CD are some of the original recording from 1975 and a demo of “Playing the Golden Gate Bridge.” This remastered reissue CD is dedicated to the memory of Scott Singer.

CD cover

Latest NEWS:

Play sounds of the Golden Gate Bridge like a musical instrument on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, get the app:: "Play The Golden Gate Bridge"

MacTech Live Video: Doug McKechnie and Paul de Benedictis are interviewed for the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for their iOS app "Play the Golden Gate Bridge"
MacTech Live

Paul de Benedictis, Doug McKechnie and Neil Ticktin MacTech Live WWDC interview
View The Video here

 

MORE NEWS HERE

 

For more information contact Doug McKechnie (510) 910-3684 EMAIL: dougmck [at] pacbell.net

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