New exhibition brings a symphony of sound and colour to Magna Science Adventure Centre

20 June 2013

Visitors of all ages are invited to ‘come on, feel the noise’ at an exciting new exhibition of sound, colour, light and movement at Magna Science Adventure Centre this summer.

The ‘Fabulous Sound Machines’ interactive exhibition brings a crazy collection of giant, brightly coloured and digitally-enhanced musical installations to the former steelworks turned visitor attraction.

A team of artists have created the hands-on sound sculptures inspired by Magna’s steel industry heritage and its huge 150ft high exhibition space. Some of the largest musical instruments of their kind ever created are included in the display.

Visitors will be able to pluck a soaring 150ft high, floor-to-ceiling Bungee Harp triggering waves of sound and coloured light. They’ll be able to swing a colossal 75ft-long Sound Pendulum across a deep pit to strike notes from resonant steel objects. A giant bottle organ, a steel rod instrument and a subterranean sound tunnel are amongst the other computer-controlled exhibits.

Magna education manager Stuart Ballard said: “We are delighted to open the Fabulous Sound Machines exhibition here at Magna and look forward to thousands of people coming to make a cacophony of colourful harmonies over the next few months.

Many of the ‘invented instruments’ incorporate steel and other industrial materials in their construction. The 150ft high harp and 75ft long pendulum are amongst the largest musical instruments of this type ever made – the artists have really responded to the huge, unique space we have here at Magna.”

The exhibition officially opens to the public next weekend (Saturday June 29th) in time for the big summer holidays and runs until 4th Nov 2013. It is open every day 10am – 5pm.

It stands in front of Magna’s ‘Face of Steel’ multimedia show and complements the permanent interactive science exhibits at Magna. Admission to the Fabulous Sound Machines temporary exhibition is free – included in the standard Magna ticket price.

Stuart said: “We hope the interactive exhibition will inspire young people – and people of all ages – to use their imagination and create their own repertoire of musical sound, light and colour here at Magna.”

Fabulous Sound Machines creates a full-surround spectacle – with huge fabric sails hanging from the ceiling, colourful lights reacting to people’s actions, high-tech sound engineering and electro-luminescent cables and effects. Slate percussion instruments, bellows and organ pipes and an unusual harpsichord constructed from discarded materials are amongst the exhibits.

Magna has worked in partnership with the Eye Music Trust to build the exhibition. Fabulous Sound Machines is supported by National Lottery funding through Arts Council England.

Stuart added: “The good news is that four elements of the Fabulous Sound Machines will be staying at Magna after the exhibition closes – as permanent installations. People will be able to play with the Sound Pendulum, Bungee Harp, Steel Rods and Subterranean Sound Tunnel for years to come.”

School groups from around the country will be making trips to the exhibition. And, during the summer, Magna will run fun family workshops where children can make their own sound machines.

Contact Magna on 01709 720002 to find out more.




The media are invited to come and see the Fabulous Sound Machines on TUESDAY JUNE 25th between 10.30am and 12.30pm. Photography, filming and interview opportunities will be available. Please contact Rosie Hallgate on 01709 723116 to arrange a time to attend, or with any queries.

Stuart Ballard can be contacted on 01709 723117 or at

Additional media contact: Steph Pollard on 01226 766900 or 0776 196 4492 or at

Housed in a former steelworks in Sheffield Road, Templeborough, near the M1, Magna is a family attraction with more than 100 hands-on exhibits designed to explore the four elements of air, water, earth and fire. Magna also boasts an outdoor and water play area and is open daily, from 10am to 5pm with last entry at 4pm. 

Magna hosts regular school trips and has event space that can cater for anything from 30 people up to 3,000.

Magna is a registered charity committed to promoting science and preserving South Yorkshire’s steel industry heritage.

Full day tickets to Magna include entry to the indoor attraction as well as the outdoor play area, or families can pay to just visit the outdoor play area. All full tickets include a further 12 months’ free entry, whether purchased on-line or on the door.

The Templeborough steelworks were built during World War One and shut in 1993. They remained derelict until being transformed into an award-winning visitor attraction in 2001.


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