atomictv David Bickerstaff
Artist, filmmaker and creative director of digital media for narrative environments

Artist works

Other projects

Tales from the Bridge

Produced by Martyn Ware
and David Bickerstaff

Download a copy of the full poem
by Mario Petrucci here >
Tales from the Bridge


Composed by Martyn Ware in collaboration with artistic director David Bickerstaff, 'Tales from the Bridge' is a mesmerizing three-dimensional soundscape covering the entire length of the Millennium Bridge, London. It features an hour-long looping immersive ambient electronic musical composition merged with an engaging spoken narrative written by the poet Mario Petrucci and voiced by Mia Austen and Steven Alexander, and the stunning Water Night by Eric Whitacre

Inspired by the fascinating history of the Thames and the stories life and times on both banks of the river,  Illustrious has created a contemplative auditory platform that links the City of London in the north with the Southbank and vice versa. Award-winning poet Mario Petrucci was invited by Bickerstaff and Ware to produce a collection of written passages assembled from literary forms such as short poems, atmospheric descriptions, local anecdotes, facts and figures. These beautifully conceived passages were collated by Petrucci into a poetry script, then woven into the three-dimensional soundfield by Martyn Ware.

In addition, at the start of each hour, an astounding invisible 3,746-voice strong choir from 73 countries – Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir- will perform 'Water Night' written by Grammy winning composer, Eric Whitacre, based on a short poem by Octavio Paz.

Also, interaction designer Daniel Hirschmann has created interactive technology which will enable a webcam mounted on the City Of London School to examine footfall at various points on the bridge, triggering sounds which will flow back and forth across the river. Visitors will therefore be able to participate in this unique and constantly changing composition.

Between July and September, between 8am and 10pm every day, the final composition will immerse the listener in an oasis of peace and contemplation, half-remembered dreams and thoughts, of meditation and learning. The Millennium Bridge will seem to be almost alive, speaking its own thoughts to over 4 million people during the exhibition period.

The installation has been commissioned by the Mayor of London as part of a citywide series of free events, installations and city dressing to add to the celebrations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games during the Olympic period. It has been created with endorsement of The Noise Abatement Society.

  Atomictv © David Bickerstaff