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Missouri River Bridge as an Instrument

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BRIDGE is a soundscape concert featuring lap steel guitarist Bill Dye, singing-bowl master Steve Donofrio with sextet, Patrick Conway and members of Gamelan Genta Kasturi, Dwight Frizzell’s river bridge recordings, and Ron Achelpohl of the Mid-America Regional Council.


Bill Dye, lap-steel guitar soloist

Steve Donofrio, Singing Bowl master

Patrick Conway, Gamelan master

Dwight Frizzell, bridge recordings, zwoom, video and mixage

Thomas Aber, zwoom specialist

Ron Achelpohl, Director of Transportation & Environment at the Mid-America Regional Council

Leo Wetherill, Technical Coordinator


“Bridges are expressions of our social-spiritual evolution and impulse toward transcendence.” 

--Rev. Dwight Frizzell

Bridges are living, resonant beings activated by our crossing formidable passageways now made passé. Crossing Liberty Bend Bridge, our concert’s featured instrument, takes a mere 14 seconds. We invite you to hang with the bridge a moment longer, entertain its own perspective, listen inside its metal structure, and hear its rhythms and singing tones as recorded and mixed by Dwight Frizzell with live performance engineer Leo Wetherill. The bridge’s harmonic sound world is joined and orchestrated by an ensemble of Tibetan Singing Bowls directed by Steve Donofrio, Balinese gamelan instruments directed by Patrick Conway, long-hose zwoomists and Bill Dye’s lap steel guitar solo.

The sonorous Missouri River bridge at Highway 291 in Sugar Creek is a magnificent traffic-activated instrument expressing a flow of people, materials, animals and plants. Its voice, animated by us humans and full of percussive and harmonic sound, is intimately heard by nestling an ear on its metal understructure (or attaching contact microphones as heard here to map the sound spatially to the performance space with the audience inside the bridge’s singing form.


Missouri River Bridge as Instrument Demo

Missouri Bridge with Singing Bowls in Concert

Bridge Study for Bridge Sounds and River Reflections