Sunderland’s new Northern Spire bridge will provide music for its own opening

Di Mainstone.
Di Mainstone.

Musical instruments which have been created from leftover materials of Sunderland’s new bridge are to be used to celebrate its official opening next month.

‘Wonderloopers’ are the invention of artist Di Mainstone, who has been commissioned by Sunderland Culture as part of the Northern Spire’s IN-SPIRE project.

A Wonderlooper

A Wonderlooper

The instruments are created out of off cuts from the plastic casings and use kaleidoscopic mirrors, motion sensors and soundscapes composed by electronic musician Mandy Wigby.

There will be 14 of them installed on the bridge for the event on Sunday September 16.

Di said: “Once the visitor is inside the Wonderlooper they will see the bridge fragmenting and hear Mandy’s soundscapes, created from interviews with members of the community.”

The instruments are being manufactured at FabLab Sunderland, supported by Creative Fuse North East.

Suzy O’Hara, curator of Wonderlooper and researcher for Creative Fuse North East, said: “Wonderlooper is an excellent example of how we can maximise the creative expertise and technical resources we have available to us in the city and help realise ambitious and innovative artworks that reflect the true spirit and future of Sunderland.”

Corinne Kilvington, producer for the event on behalf of Sunderland Culture, added: “Communities on both side of the Northern Spire have been working hard to ensure Wonderloopers stay long in the memory.”

The bridge is set to open by the end of the month but an exact date has not yet been announced.

Coun Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re very close now to opening Northern Spire and Wonderlooper is a really exciting event that will follow on very soon after the opening.”

Numbers are limited. Book a free place at www.ticketsource.co.uk/sunderland-culture