CD review: Claudia Molitor’s The Singing Bridge

First published in the Guardian on 22 September, 2016

Molitor: The Singing Bridge
(NMC)

London’s first Waterloo Bridge was built in 1817: grey Cornish granite with pairs of handsome Doric columns lining the thoroughfare for good measure. When the old foundations became too shaky during the Second World War, a workforce of women joiners and bricklayers erected the new reinforced concrete span and it’s that social history that inspired composer/sound artist Claudia Molitor to “open up a space for the listener to reconnect with this beautiful architectural structure”. The Singing Bridge is musical psychogeography more than anything and was probably best experienced the way it was intended — on a headset in situ overlooking the bridge as part of the Totally Thames festival. But it’s also proving gently evocative at home in my kitchen, with its sensitively layered watery location recordings, traffic noises and gently wonky, finespun, industrial-ish prepared piano sounds by Molitor plus contributions from poet SJ Fowler, folk band Stick In The Wheel and drum/synth duo AK/DK.