Tiled tunnel under Belgian river "staggeringly monotonous"


How was the acoustic? The brickwork is crumbling in spots, and the majority of the tunnel is taken up by (now stagnant) canal with a narrow dirt footpath. So I guess my best description of the acoustics would be: damp. Those acoustics were damp.


not 1km plus in length!





There’s another, similar tunnel not far away, just south of the city, that is sometimes used by local contemporary music ensemble Champ d’Action for performances.

The one featured on Atlas Obscura (St. Anna Tunnel) is right in the center of the city so it actually sees quite a bit of pedestrian and bicycle traffic (especially in the summer, when people go to the left bank to chill by the water), but this one (Kennedy tunnel) is in an old and partly abandoned industrial zone. It’s not as sterile and straight but a lot creepier in a different way.

I’ve seen a performance with two Tibetan horns there, one at each end of the tunnel (about 600m apart); the sound seemed to roll back and forth like a huge wave. I’ve attended one where they had filled the tunnel with hundreds of tiny cages with tweeting mechanical birds, while a harpist was playing in the middle. I’ve been there alone at night and practiced “kargyraa” Mongolian throat singing. The acoustics are quite something!


Thanks. That was the info I was out for. I’ve always loved these tunnels for their acoustic. As a kid, I’d never cross one without trying different shouts or even playing harmonica.
I had one of these tunnels right across the street from where I grew up; across the Tervurenlaan in Brussels. One day in the 70’s, an older guy came toward me inside that tunnel, asked me to pass him the harmonica and played like a god. I like to believe that could have been Toots Thielemans :slight_smile:


What a wonderful memory. It must have been him!


Possibly. In that case, he would have been about my age now. I’ll never forget he could play like two people at once, with one corner of his mouth playing a bass line and the other the melody.


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