Jean-Pierre Gauthier

Orchestre à géométrie variable, 2013-2014

Jean-Pierre Gauthier
Orchestre à géométrie variable
Dimensions and medium
Amplifiers, bows, exotic wood, audio cables, wires, loudspeakers, microcontrollers, microphones, motors and ABS tubes, 3.05 × 13.26 × 11.28 m (variable dimensions)
Purchase, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Grants program
Artwork description
Orchestre à géométrie variable is a programmable installation by Jean-Pierre Gauthier composed of six sound murals from which nineteen compositions have been developed, drawing from a large register of musical genres and influences. Each of these murals has a meticulously engineered electronic network; not only is the structure’s wiring system deployed in such a way as to make the functional diagram and its various hierarchical levels readable, but the spatialization of the network represents the piece’s sound and graphic elements as well. Each invented musical instrument contains custom-fabricated wooden pieces that reflect the craftsmanship of a luthier. These sculpted elements define the expressive range of each instrument. In addition to the work of engineering, drafting, building the instruments, and playing music, is the task of composing and ensuring that the instruments’ orchestration is conducive to creating musical scores that can be programmed for autonomous performances in the context of an exhibition. The mechanization of the movements through programmed electromechanical servo-controls translates into friction, percussion and glissandos. The organization of sonic moments and the modulation of their frequency and intensity foster an unexpected music that emerges throughout the piece’s long, circuitous path. Sounds become melodies, the installation becomes an orchestra, and its inventor combines, within one unique work, the active and creative language of the artist, the composer and the conductor.

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