The sound sculpture sees 16 steam engine whistles reverberating around the city’s historic walls at 1pm on each of the 80 days of the exhibition.
It has been designed to recall the role of the North in engineering and the invention of the railway, sparking memories and forging links between past and present.
The work is an engineering feat in its own right, with each of the whistles being hand-cast and controlled by a modern IT system.
Mr Messam said the challenge was getting the whistles, which work on compressed air, to sound as if they were triggered by steam.
This was achieved by adding a metal disc which changes the pitch.
He said: “It still doesn’t sound exactly like steam because it is still air.”
The release of the compressed air into the whistle is governed by a Raspberry Pi computer programmed by Newcastle-based Nebula Labs. Each mini-computer is connected to the National Physical Laboratory’s atomic clock in London.
The Great Exhibition of the North runs from June 22 to September 9
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.