Main Menu

See All Acoustic End-of-Line Test Systems See All DAQ and instruments See All Electroacoustics See All Software See All Transducers See All Vibration Testing Equipment See All Academy See All Resource Center See All Applications See All Industries See All Insights See All Services See All Support See All Our Business See All Our History See All Our Sustainability Commitment See All Global Presence

Main Menu

See All Actuators See All Combustion Engines See All Durability See All eDrive See All Production Testing Sensors See All Transmission & Gearboxes See All Turbo Charger See All Industrial electronics See All S&V Signal conditioner See All DAQ Systems See All Power Analyser See All S&V Hand-held devices See All High Precision and Calibration Systems See All Test Solutions See All nCode - Durability and Fatigue Analysis See All ReliaSoft - Reliability Analysis and Management See All Test Data Management See All DAQ Software See All Drivers & API See All Utility See All Vibration Control See All Acoustic See All Current / voltage See All Displacement See All Load Cells See All Pressure See All Strain Gauges See All Vibration See All Torque See All LDS Shaker Systems See All Vibration Controllers See All Power Amplifiers See All Accessories for Vibration Testing Equipment See All Training Courses See All Acoustics See All Asset & Process Monitoring See All Custom Sensors See All Data Acquisition & Analysis See All Durability & Fatigue See All Electric Power Testing See All NVH See All Reliability See All Smart Sensors See All Vibration See All Weighing See All Automotive & Ground Transportation See All Calibration See All Installation, Maintenance & Repair See All Support Brüel & Kjær See All Release Notes See All Compliance See All Our People

Main Menu

See All QuantumX See All LAN-XI See All SomatXR See All MGCplus See All CANHEAD See All Optical Interrogators See All GenHS See All API See All Microphone Cartridges See All Microphone Sets See All Microphone Pre-amplifiers See All Sound Sources See All Acoustic Calibrators See All Special Microphones See All Accessories for acoustic transducers See All Experimental testing See All Transducer Manufacturing (OEM) See All CCLD (IEPE) accelerometers See All Charge Accelerometers See All Rotating See All Non-rotating (calibration) See All Electroacoustics See All Noise Source Identification See All Environmental Noise See All Sound Power and Sound Pressure See All Noise Certification See All Industrial Process Control See All Structural Health Monitoring See All Electrical Devices Testing See All Electrical Systems Testing See All Grid Testing See All High-Voltage Testing See All Vibration Testing with Electrodynamic Shakers See All Structural Dynamics See All Machine Analysis and Diagnostics See All Dynamic Weighing See All Calibration Services for Transducers See All Calibration Services for Handheld Instruments See All Calibration Services for Instruments & DAQ See All On-Site Calibration See All Resources See All Software License Management

The bells that mirror the soul of Notre Dame

Sound artist Bill Fontana’s latest project, ‘Silent Echoes: Notre Dame’, finds him working in the bell towers of the fire-ravaged cathedral recording the haunting sounds of Notre Dame’s ten church bells, which survived the catastrophe. A livestream of his ‘intimate acoustic portrait of the bells’ will premiere at the Centre Pompidou in June and broadcast live to different museums around the world.

Inspired by his upbringing in the vicinity of the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland orchestra, sound artist Bill Fontana trained as a composer and has been interested in acoustics and the music that exists within structures since the 70s. Now based in California, his innovative vision has become internationally renowned through critically acclaimed installations on structures such as the Golden Gate Bridge to the Arc de Triomphe and Big Ben.

We wanted to find out a bit more about the man, his work and where he finds creative inspiration.

Notre Dame - Silent Echoes man


Finding music in everyday sounds – where did that come from?

Due to my interest in the physics and science of sound, I started to explore how the brain recognizes and organizes patterns of sound in music and I realised that for me, hearing the sounds around me is as beautiful as listening to music, and the idea of creating sonic artworks that intensify the art of listening was immensely appealing. When I moved to New York, I took a class in experimental music composition and got to know John Cage [avant garde composer] who became a great source of inspiration.

In the early 70s, I was hired by the Australian Broadcasting Company to record the sounds of Australia and make sound art projects for radio. At the time, the first FM stereo radio stations were going into operation in Australia, which was an absolute turning point for me as it gave me access to state-of-the-art, mobile sound recording equipment.


Tell us more about how you work?

To explore sound and the environment, you have to consider sound and vibration in three different modes – how it is in the air, in physical material and underwater. Sound moves at different speeds in those three elements, but they are all very reactive to stimuli. The combination of these three listening techniques is very important in explaining the deep musicality of patterns in any situation.

When I develop and research my projects, I use a portable recording studio, containing a set of digital recorders, sound sensors, accelerometers and sometimes hydrophones, to transmit or stream audio from the structure I’m working with to a public site or space, for example, a museum.