Steve Messam

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Date: 2014

Client: Cobweb Orchestra

Location: Victoria Tunnel, Newcastle upon Tyne. UK

Dimensions: 2.1m x 2.1m x 35m

Materials: mono frequency lights

Further Info: Underground Orchestra on Culture24

Underground Orchestra on BBC


A pilot project in collaboration with Cobweb Orchestra

A stretch of a historic tunnel beneath the city of Newcastle is transformed through light into a magical space for a 22-piece classical orchestral performance. The monofrequency lights accentuate the subterranean atmosphere and create a controlled and defined space for the orchestra. The single frequency of the lights rendering all other colours invisible, the players wear focused white headlights to read the music.

'Tunnel' was an experiment to make an underground performance visually unique. The 30 minute concert featured works by North East composers and included a premiere of a new site-specfic work by composer Michael Betteridge.