Sounds of the Border: Playing the Wall Listener Glenn Weyant lets us listen to his performance of music on the wall that divides Mexico from the United States. Weyant put contact microphones on a section of the wall near Nogales, Ariz., then uses a cello bow against metal on the wall.
NPR logo

Sounds of the Border: Playing the Wall

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5482919/5482920" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Sounds of the Border: Playing the Wall

Sounds of the Border: Playing the Wall

Sounds of the Border: Playing the Wall

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5482919/5482920" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Web Resources

Listener Glenn Weyant lets us listen to his performance of music on the wall that divides Mexico from the United States. Weyant put contact microphones on a section of the wall near Nogales, Ariz., then uses a cello bow against metal on the wall.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

We're collecting sound clips from listeners around the country and we received one in particular that relates to the debate over immigration from Mexico. It's from a man who lives near the U.S./Mexico border.

Mr. GLENN WEYANT (Arizona resident): Hi my name is Glenn Weyant and I am a sounds sculptor living in Tucson, Arizona. One of the passions I have right now is amplifying objects, both found and in public spaces, that sort of thing. The way that I do this is a use a contact microphone, which is very similar to a stethoscope in that you place it on something and it picks up the vibrations and the sounds that are occurring from that object.

What I did was go down to Nogales, Arizona, which is a town on the border with Mexico and the United States. There is a wall that separates the United States from Mexico in Nogales. It is made of mostly steel salvaged from helicopter pads used by the U.S. military in Vietnam and Desert Storm. I went to the wall with my contact microphone and my gear, hooked up the microphone to the wall. I had a cello bow and began to play it.

(Soundbite of wall music)

So I did it with the wall. I also bowed some of the barbed wire fences that are in the area as well.

(Soundbite of fence music)

I would love to set up a day where people from the U.S. side, musicians on the Mexican side would agree to meet on either side of that wall and then start playing it, to actually join together and take this wall and demolish its concept, remove it as a wall. It will no longer exist as a wall. It will be an instrument.

(Soundbite of wall music)

SIEGEL: The border wall and fence between Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora, played by listener Glenn Weyant of Tucson. To find out how you can share a sound with us, you can visit our web site, NPR.org.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.