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The total transformation of the iconic beech street tunnel

In March 2018, 59 Productions debuted their latest epic public artwork, co-produced with the Barbican. Spanning the Beech Street tunnel, this immersive audio-visual feast closed a central London traffic artery to place audience members inside a piece of contemporary classical music, allowing them to discover the sonic forms of a full orchestra up close and personal.

Using a specially recorded version of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Karawane for Orchestra and Chorus, the event showcased the diverse sounds of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus using a unique sound design by fellow Tony Award-winner Gareth Fry, devised to play with the acoustic reflectivity of the tunnel.

Complementing the orchestral reverberations, both walls and the ceiling of the tunnel became projection surfaces displaying extraordinary, evolving patterns of light, working with and against the music to play with perspective and visual tone. A free event, spanning the weekend, the show played multiple times throughout the day and evening to an audience of several thousand.

Opened 2018

Beech Street, Barbican, London


Created by
59 Productions

Music by
Esa-Pekka Salonen

Produced by
the Barbican and
59 Productions

Project partner
BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

59 Team

Project Director
Richard Slaney

Lead Designer
Nick Corrigan

Ollie Hester

Sound Designer
Gareth Fry

Associate Sound Designer
Robin Whittaker

Lighting Associate
Tony Simpson

Aaron Brady
Simon Russell
Edd Stockton

Assistant Designers
Dale Croft
Matthew Taylor

Production Managers
James Roxburgh
Edd Slaney

Lead Programmer
Maximilien Spielbichler

Sam Jeffs
Vincent Steenhoek

Technical Assistant
Iain Syme

Technical Intern
David Callanan

GSMD Placement
Giovanni Rossi