News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Fremont Bridge says “Call Me”

October 9th, 2009 by master

Permanent signs have been put up on the Fremont Bridge, enticing passers-by to call it.   The opening celebration of Kristen Ramirez’ public art project may be over, but “Bridge Talks Back” will ring on through April 2010. 


Over the summer the artist set up a voice message line inviting residents to tell their favorite stories or memories about the bridge.   She then created an audio composition made of portions of some of those messages, combined with various sounds from the bridge.  You can hear that recording 24/7 by calling 1-800-761-9941. 

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‘Bridge Talks Back’ stops audience in their tracks

September 27th, 2009 by master

People driving through Fremont yesterday may have wondered what was going on at the Fremont Bridge.  There were people carrying colorful signs dressed in colorful shirts.  The bridge was laced with colorful pennant strings.  Despite the parading and fanfare, it wasn’t a protest.  This was a celebration.

Bridge Up

Bridge Talks Back” is the result of artist Kristen Ramirez’ summer-long residency inside the northeast tower of the Fremont Bridge.  For the past three months, she collected sounds from in and around the bridge, as well as Seattle residents’ stories of it, and compiled them into a sound art project that honors the historic Bridge through all of its daily rhythm and noises.


For the installation’s opening, sixteen different horn players were stationed inside the bridge’s four towers.  As cars began stopping for the bridge to go up, they played a piece composed by Fremont-based trombonist Tom Yoder.  

Bridge Up signs

The recording of various sounds, from cars and horns to birds and bells, were then played over the structure’s overhead speakers.  Each time cars sat idle for the bridge, nearly one hundred performers engaged in choreographed fanfare with handmade signs.   


The public art project was commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs from the Seattle Department of Transportation’s 1% for Arts Fund.  The audio composition will continue to play over the bridge’s speakers during daytime bridge openings from now through April 2010.  You can also hear those recordings, as well as those of residents’ bridge stories, by calling 1-800-761-9941.

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Fremont Bridge art project opens tomorrow

September 25th, 2009 by master

Update: It’s not too late if you’d like to be part of the celebration.  Interested performers must be available from 12-4pm.  There will be a check-in tent on the Queen Anne side of the bridge near The Nickerson Street Saloon.

Whether they intend to or not, cars and pedestrians stopped at the Fremont Bridge on Saturday will witness the opening of artist Kristen Ramirez’ public art project.  “Bridge Talks Back: A Sound Artwork” is the result of her summer-long residency inside the Fremont Bridge. 


Between 1-4pm, drivers waiting for the bridge to go up can expect to sit back and enjoy choreographed fanfare each time the bridge opens.  One hundred performers and musicians have volunteered to be part of the celebration, and 16 different horn players will play out of the structure’s four towers.  A sound collage will blast over the bridge’s sound system, and will include clips of boats, birds, bells and the bridge itself.

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Fremont Bridge needs performers to help ‘talk back’

September 7th, 2009 by master

After spending three months inside the northeast tower of the Fremont Bridge, artist Kristen Ramirez is nearly ready to unveil the work resulting from her summer residency.  The piece is called “Bridge Talks Back” and she describes it as “using a piece of the city’s infrastructure to celebrate art and history.” 


Kristen says she knew from her first day in the tower that the composition was going to involve sound, so she set up a voice message line for people to call and tell their stories about the bridge and their experiences there.  Throughout the summer, she received more than 50 messages.  One of her favorites was from a man who told the story of how his wife had always wanted to ride the bridge and on her 75th birthday she finally figured out how to do it and did just that.

The public art project was commissioned by Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs from the Department of Transportation’s 1% for Art funds.  The result will be revealed on Saturday, September 26 from 1-4pm. 

Tom Yoder, a Fremont-based trombone player is writing a musical number specifically for the project.  For three hours, 16 different horn players will be stationed at all four corners of the bridge and will play each time traffic gets stopped for the bridge to go up.  Then, as the bridge rises, a sound piece will play over the bridge’s loudspeakers. 

Kristen is still looking for about 50 performers to volunteer to be part of the coordinated fanfare, and all types are welcome.  One orientation meeting will be required.  All volunteers will receive a t-shirt and hand-painted sign.  If you’d like more info or to sign up, contact Kristen at

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