A couple of weeks ago, we introduced you to an orchestra made up of 150 kitchen appliances. This week, we’ve found another one—this time, comprised of sewing machines.
Composer, performer and video artist Martin Messier has created a light and sound performance using eight 1940s Singer sewing machines, forming a symphony based solely on the noise emitted by the machines. The sounds are amplified via microcontacts and processed through a computer, allowing certain aspects of the machines’ sound to be controlled by remote. Messier is currently touring Canada with the Sewing Machine Orchestra, performing it in rotation with some of his other projects including La Chambre des Machines, another machine-based audio installation.
Aiming to take the listener back to a more industrial age and stimulate their memory, Messier’s Sewing Machine Orchestra focuses on the connection between sound and imagination. The mechanical clicks and whirs made by the machines work together to create a powerful sound, similar to a synthesised dubstep track—in fact, at some points it’s hard to believe the sound is coming from a sewing machine and not a mixing desk!