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MxLL – Chihiro Ono

Japanese-born violinist Chihiro Ono use music as a tool to explore human abilities, link people and places, and open human beings' minds.

For Musicity x Low Line, Chihiro created a piece in response to the space of Bermondsey Street Tunnel.

Here, she shares her insights:


I fell in love with this tunnel because it reminds me of a kaleidoscope from my childhood. I was always fascinated by this surreal “little tunnel” with colourful reflections. And a funny coincidence I found is that this tunnel has been colourfully illuminated with lights since 2009. So this tunnel is a “kaleidoscope” tunnel.

This piece was designed to be listened to with earphones or headphones. There will be noises flying through your head, which represent a tunnel of sounds. Whilst you are listening to this piece, you will also hear the natural live noise around you, which is welcomed to be part of my piece.

In this piece, I have integrated everything I have welcomed in my life; a musical baroque composition form, microtones, traditional Japanese Instruments (the Koto, and Sho’s tuning and chords), my field recording collection of noise (Tokyo Metro, London Tube, our everyday life, my personal life in London, Japan and Switzerland). On top of these, I improvised “noise” with some Japanese and English Folksongs. These two songs were born around the same time that the earliest section of this tunnel was built. A surprise coincidence with these songs is that they have the same singing game rules. And more...The kaleidoscope which I fell in love with when I was kid in Japan was invented by a Scottish person, the English folksong I used in this piece was a collective piece of old songs from Germany, France and Italy... Do you see what I see? This world is all beautifully connected, like a kaleidoscope!



A Piece on Bermondsey Tunnel’ by Chihiro Ono releases June 1 as part of London Festival of Architecture.

To listen to ‘A Piece on Bermondsey Tunnel’, open the Musicity x Low Line Web App and go to Bermondsey Tunnel!

Musicity x Low Line is commissioned by Better Bankside, Team London Bridge, Blue Bermondsey.

With thanks to: London Festival of Architecture, Flanagan Lawrence Architects, ARUP.

Photo credit: Sam for Chihiro Ono.