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Take me to the river: Yangtze comes alive at Gatwick airport

Delta Sound has installed over 160 Bose FreeSpace DS100SEs along Gatwick Airport’s Skybridge for the interactive audio installation.

China’s 6,300 km Yangtze River has been brought to life inside London’s Gatwick Airport, using actual sounds recorded on the river.

AV specialists Delta Sound have installed Bose FreeSpace DS100SE speakers along the length of the 194m Gatwick Skybridge linking Pier 6 to Gatwick’s North Terminal, to give passengers a real taste of the sounds of the river all the way from source to mouth.

Called A Living River, the installation celebrates the work of HSBC’s Water Programme and 15 year partnership with WWF, and was created by J Walter Thompson London, working with creative sound designer Nick Ryan and technical sound designer Davey Williamson of Delta Sound.

Over 100 hours of recorded audio taken from 35 locations on the Yangtze are transmitted by 160 speakers through 80 channels of audio programmed by Williamson using Merging Technologies’ Ovation Audio Server and Sequencer to immerse travellers in 3D sound during the journey to and from their planes.

Delta Sound installed over 60,000 metres of speaker cable – the length of 584 football pitches – during the month long build up period, working overnight whilst the Skybridge was devoid of passengers. Williamson selected the Bose FreeSpace DS100SEs following months of research, testing and client presentations, and were chosen for their clarity, depth of sound and overall performance on the Skybridge.

“Audio was always the essential element in this installation, and it was crucial that we made an impact and delivered sounds that were as close to reality as possible,” says Williamson.

“I worked closely with Nick Ryan, the creative sound designer involved in this unique installation, and made him aware of the speakers that I felt were the right ones for the job. The Bose DS100s stood out, as you can pick up every nuance of sound, whether it be a raindrop landing on a tin roof, or the whoosh of a bird’s wings as it takes flight. The speakers also look exceptional in white, ranged at three metre intervals along the length of the bridge, and drawing attention to the audio without detracting from the experience.”

For more information on the project, watch the Campaign YouTube video