Thursday, April 14, 2011

Machine Music

Mix your analogue with your digital. See what can be done with vintage (low) technology and a microcontroller:

Sewing Machine Orchestra from Martin Messier on Vimeo.

Montreal-based composer, performer and video artist Martin Messier makes music with 8 (amplified) sewing machines. Samuel St-Aubin has interfaced them to the microcontroller so that the machines themselves control sound parameters like volume through the wheels. The machines can be remotely controlled through the computer interface too. Messier cites the evocative power of employing the vintage sewing machines. I think the silhouettes of the machines themselves add to the performance. (via Etsys Deutscher Blog)

Messier also milks bits of clocks for all their musical worth:

L'HORLOGER from Martin Messier on Vimeo.

And, inspired by the early twentieth century Italian futurist idea that "noise" be part of a musical composition, he made variations on Luigi Russolo's mysterious box the 'intonarumori'. His mechanisms are open and visible, rather than hidden. Both the 'intonarumori' and clocks are played in this performance:

LA CHAMBRE DES MACHINES from Martin Messier on Vimeo.

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