The Most Amazing Recording Space

A few months ago, José and I found a once-in-a-lifetime recording space.

In China, it is not uncommon to find half-finished, abandoned apartment buildings, shopping malls, and public infrastructure projects.  This spot, however, is unique.  At some point in Guangzhou’s recent history, a bridge to connect two islands within its sprawling river delta was started.  For whatever reason, this one was never finished.

The highway, in most apocalyptic fashion, is eerily quiet and empty as it lifts hundreds of feet into the air to stretch across the Zhujiang.  Then suddenly and abruptly, it stops halfway across the river.

Photo by: José Luis Vílchez

The view from the edge is stunning.  I could try to describe it, but you know what they say about a picture:

Photo by: José Luis Vílchez

As we literally reached the end of the road, I turned and said to José, “Well, so much for finding that tunnel.”

“Hold on,” he said as he (gulp) climbed over the edge of the bridge and inched down a ladder to a platform just below.  “Hey babe,” he shouted up, “we found it!”

Like the hollow inside of a reed exposed to the world when the reed is cut, there at the very end of the unfinished bridge is the opening to a tunnel.   It is built into the underside of the highway, stretching for hundreds of feet under the bridge, quickly fading into pitch black.

And the acoustics are amazing.

Two weeks later we returned with my recording gear and José’s camera gear.  The recordings and visuals we garnered not only capture the unique acoustics of the space, but also the sounds of a busy and ever-bustling China.  Just across the river sits the ancient fishing port of Huangpu, and every now and then you’ll hear the cry of a carpenter’s saw or the low chug of a fishing boat.

Photo by: José Luis Vílchez

We’re now working on mixing down the audio and video that we captured there above the Zhujiang, and we look forward to sharing.

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