Martyn Ware Creates 2012 Olympic Soundscape On London’s Millenium Bridge

Martyn Ware – the synth guru who founded The Human League, B.E.F. and Heaven 17 – has created a unique new work to celebrate the 2012 Olympics.

Tales From The Bridge is a 3D soundscape collaboration covering the length of the Millennium Bridge in London. The piece was commissioned by the Mayor of London to launch at the start of the London 2012 Olympics, and will run until the end of September.

“We’ve been working for quite a few months now on creating the most amazing installation, which is going to be on the Millenium Bridge during the Olympics,” explains Ware.  “It’s called Tales From The Bridge, which is a combination of ambient sound and an electronic soundscape which we composed together with a fantastic poetic kind of magic realist overlay of spoken word in three dimensions, which is going to be drifting across the bridge.”

The video features an interview with Ware about the piece and a behind the scenes look at its creation.

Ware shared some of the details about the synths and software used to create Tales From The Bridge:

Ware: We did a piece called Timepiece for the Mexico City installation that we did, Sound Oasis. This was composed of very slowly-drifting chords that changed almost imperceptibly in related keys, over an hour-long loop.

I thought it would be quite nice to use a similar structure, but change the sounds and make it more adapted to the kind of environment here. So that’s the basic musical element, plus some additional, inspirational kind of almost like Blade Runner-ish synth, virtual synths. So we used a lot of Omnisphere.

We used a lot of virtual synths including Arturia’s Moog Modular synth, Korg MS-20, and some Roland System 100 as well.

That’s the basic template of what we did, and it’s slowly drifting, additional kind of Vangelis-type melody lines that weave in space and time around the piece as well. Then we overlaid the fantastic script that Mario Petrucci has written, and performed by a couple of actors with beautiful voices,  Mia Austen and Steven Alexander.

The idea was to relate the lyrical content at this end of the bridge to the City and the Church and government, and on the other side to the theatre and the playground of the rich, even though it was a poor area historically, and the arts, and recreation. And the central section of the bridge, compositionally, is about the history of the Thames itself.

Full details on Ware’s Tales From The Bridge are available at

6 thoughts on “Martyn Ware Creates 2012 Olympic Soundscape On London’s Millenium Bridge

  1. The olympics, are a serious waste of tax payers money. All the parasites crawling out of the wood work to cash in on it. Snow Patrol, Damon Albarn, etc.
    Those who are already minted ,are taking more money off the tax payers, what a load of wank.

  2. Please make the poetry available on iTunes. I happened to experience the audio while crossing the bridge while in London, the most beautiful moment during my visit. Stunning. Thank you London.

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