Carracedo’s bridge soundscape

3 octubre 2008


Carracedo’s bridge is placed at the Láncara council, next to the little town of Carracedo. It’s located at 42º 51′ 56.4» North and 7º 22′ 50.69» West[GOOMAPS-08]. It crosses river Neira just after it passes by Carracedo and a little before ir arrives to st. Vicenzo. Bridge has two big central archs, of about 12 meters each one, and two side ones, a little smaller, builded for the case of river flooding.

This bridge was built on the way that linked jacobean’s way with Lugo, on the place of Fonfria. The date on which the bridge was built remains unknown. Some authors say it was build on the Middle Ages [GIZ-91]. Others locate that date on the XVI century[BLANCO-91]. Even There are some of them that believe it was built by Roman people [MAGARIÑOS-08][MANCOS-03]. The first time the bridge appears on a map, is in one of Lugo’s province made by Tomas López in the year of 1768[LOPEZ-68]. Later on, it appears on maps like the Domingo fontan’s one [FONTAN-45] dated on 1845.

Carracedo’s bridge has been declared as patrimonial wealth and is included on the Galician Historic bridges catalogue.

This article is not intended to show a complete technical description of the bridge. If you’re interested, you could check Alvarado Blanco et. al (in Spanish)[ALVARADO-91]. They offer a comprehensive technical description of the bridge, among photos (as it was before rehabilitation) and two technical drafts [ALVARADO-91b].

1.Bridge soundscape

Water. It’s a bridge, so there’s a lot of sounds of water: raining, falling, running… Also, the recordings were done during spring season, so there’s a lot of animal sounds, birds above all.

It’s very noticeable that there’s almost no human sounds on the soundscape. This turns more surprising as the object being studied is the soundscape of a man built construction. This absence of human sounds can be explained by two facts: first, the bridge is on a zone where there’s no big industry nor communication infrastructures, and second, nowadays the bridge is just being used as a pedestrian pass over the river.

What most attracted our attention after listening to the shoots, was the sonorities produced by birds. Lancara’s lands are a natural paradise to live in, and not only for man, but also for animals. This, among the fact that all the shoots here presented were done on spring, made the birds chant appear on every shoot taken on the bridge.


Over the bridge on the side where the water comes from. Neira river passes very calm. You almost can’t hear it. You must sharp your ears to hear low frequencies coming from water gushes. Birds sings happily and loud. Occasionally, some far car passes by the new bridge, as the old one is pedestrian use only since a long time ago… They remand us that civilization is not so far away.

Over the bridge, on the side where the waters go down. River runs, and it fills soundscape with a constant bottom sound that appears to relax your spirit. Birds, far away, play over the stereo field, as if they know that someone is recording them. Again, it’s very remarkable the absence of human produced sounds. Maybe some motor very far away, more like a murmur than a real sound.

This shoot was taken under one of the dry bridge arcs. While recording, rain starts. We almost not hear the river flow, but just some of the water gushes produced by the river. Rain drops falling against grass dominate the soundscape. Birds, that look not worried about the rain, also appear on the recording, contributing with their shiny and high-pitched voices.″ height=»24″ width=»290″>

A very short one, but interesting. Rain sounds like thundering when they run against the small grass under the bridge. On the background you could hear the river flowing. Birds, far away, almost do not sing.

Bridge is surrounded by two buildings, one on each of the river sides. On the left, there’s a very stately cottage, and, on the right side, a tumbledown little stable, with a very big porch, inviting to shelter us under him and do some recordings. We hardly hear the water on the river flowing, just the rain falling hitting the vegetation is heard. We can hear some leak falling over a plastic, and a pipe that conduct a small rain water thread sliding down through the river. If we tune our ears, we could hear some dog barking somewhere very far away. That, and some birds singing remind us we’re not too far from live.

Rain has stopped. Birds come back to sing. High frequencies filling the soundscape, as the play their songs to the rhythm of the spring. At the background, the water running on the river. A small mouse is going inside the log where we putted our mic and recorder. He had ruined our shoot… naughty mouse, damn it!!!

On the left side of the bridge, towards where the water goes down, we hear the highs coming from the rain falling. A singing bird looks like rain its not bothering him. Suddenly, rain stops, letting us hear clearly the highs from the river flowing. At the background, some motors from modern civilization. From time to time, a dog barking an a chicken chirping… sound marks that tell us civilization is not far away. Suddenly we start to hear something… a pedestrian on its mobile talking about something, followed by a mischievous fly. That’s life!!! It starts to rain again, we lost the sounds coming from the river… A dynamic soundscape by the side of an old bridge.

3.Future works

Recordings here presented are just a little approach to the soundscape one person can hear on the area of Carracedo’s bridge, at Lancara’s council. It must be said that the sounds presented here are just a small and very slanting approach of this soundscape. Job should be done in order to get a more comprehensive idea of the bridge’s full soundscape. This include to repeat the recordings by night, and in different seasons of the year. Also, recording during different moments of the day should be of interest.

4.Technical details

The recordings on this work were made on April 2008, at the restored Carracedo’s Bridge. To do them, we used a compact flash audio field recorded, specifically, the TASCAM HD-P2 [TASCAM-07]. We also used a RODE NT-4[RODE-08] as the mic to do the recordings. Takes were made at both sides of the bridge, and also at its top. All of the takes were made using a death cat to protect the mic from the wind and rain.


In English

[GOOMAPS-08]Google, ‘Google Maps’, Google Maps, 2008, <,-7.364767&hl=es&geocode=&mra=mi&mrsp=0&sz=16&sll=42.862486,-7.364767&sspn=0.006936,0.019312&ie=UTF8&t=k&z=16> [Accesed 25 August 2008]

[RODE-08]RODE, «Rode NT-4 mic product webpage», Rode Microphones, 2008, <> [Accesed 27 August 2008]

[TASCAM-07] TASCAM, «HD-P2 Product webpage», TASCAM, 2007 <> [Accesed 26 August 2008]

In Spanish

[ALVARADO-91]ALVARADO BLANCO, s., DURÁN FUENTES, M., NÁRDIZ ORTIZ, C. «Puentes históricos de Galicia», Colegio oficial de ingenieros de caminos, canales y puertos – Dirección xeral do patrimonio histórico e documental, 3ª edición. A Coruña 1991.

[ALVARADO-91b]ALVARADO BLANCO, s., DURÁN FUENTES, M., NÁRDIZ ORTIZ, C. «Alzado y planta del puente de Carracedo», Web valdoneira, 2003 (Extraido de la obra «Puentes históricos de Galicia»). <> [Accesed 26 August 2008]

[FONTAN-45]FONTAN RODRIGUEZ, D., «Carta geométrica de Galicia», Lemercier, Paris, 1845.

[LOPEZ-68] LOPEZ SCULP., t.,»Mapa general del Obispado de lugo», Tomas Lopez, Madrid, 1768.

[LOPEZ-06] LOPEZ GOMEZ., a., MANSO PORTO, c., «Cartografía del siglo XVIII: Tomas Lopez en la real academia de la historia.», Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, 2006. <,M1> [Accesed 25 August 2008]

[GIZ-91] GIL RAMIZ, J., «Láncara para vivir», Everest, Leon, 1991.

[RISCO-96] RISCO,P., «España Sagrada. Tomo XL. Antiguedades de la Ciudad y Sta Iglesia de Lugo: Memoria de los insignes monasterios de s. Julian de Samos, y s. Vicente de Monforte. Examen critico de los monumentos que se dicen concilios lucenses.» Madrid, 1796.

In Galician

[MAGARIÑOS-08]MAGARIÑOS COSTAS, c. a., «Pena da Armada, un posto de vixilancia lexionario.», Blog A nosa Historia, Arzua cidadán, Abril 2008. <> [accesed 25 August 2008]

[MANCOS-03]MANCOSPIA, «As Pontes», Web valdoneira, 2003, <> [accesed 25 August 2008]