Illuminated River – new bridge audio descriptions for 2021

Illuminated River is a major public art commission, lighting nine bridges across the River Thames. American artist Leo Villareal, with architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, won an international competition to produce this unique, long-term artwork, which will be in place for at least 10 years. In 2019 the first four bridges were illuminated – London, Cannon Street, Southwark, and Millennium – and in 2021 the final five bridges completed the work – Blackfriars, Waterloo, the Golden Jubilee footbridges, Westminster and Lambeth. The kinetic installation is lit from dusk each day, highlighting the bridge structures and the ambience of the surrounding environment. Villareal has sensitively responded to each bridge, in consideration of their distinctive histories and architectural features.

VocalEyes has created audio descriptions for Illuminated River, drawing on the rich social histories and engineering feats of each bridge, whilst evoking the atmospheres of the dynamic artwork. In addition, we were delighted to include extracts of original music by composers at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, created in response to the bridges and the artwork, to enhance the listening experience.

The recordings are available in a playlist at the bottom of this page, and on SoundCloud.

Read more about our collaboration with Illuminated River in a guest blog post by our Museum Programme Manager, Anna Fineman.

Listen to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama compositions in full on the Illuminated River website.

Photo: © James Newton

Audio playlist