The Voice of Things (CA)



Kinetic sound installation: wood, aluminium, brushes, paper, motors, microphones, electronics, amplifiers, loudspeakers, midi interface, audio interface, sensors, and a computer

Catherine Béchard & Sabin Hudon (CA)


Two huge, oversized mechanized brooms are suspended and begin to move in a swinging motion. Their rhythm, at times very slow, gives a viewer the impression of being suspended in time, and their larger-than-life scale imparts a sense of fragility and a loss of balance. As they pass by they rub and scratch against a heap of newspapers. Microphones inserted inside their brushes capture the vibrations of the paper and a wave scan then reveals the ‘noise music’ potential of these everyday materials. The newspapers and brushes also become ‘sound objects’ and they make themselves heard in an insistent cacophony, a rumbling that becomes incessant and fragile.

The machine is set into action as soon as visitors’ movements trigger the motion sensors. They are then interpreted so as to influence the movement of the mechanized brooms, the sound signals, and their dissemination in the space. The visitors can shape their sound territories through their movements. They can choose their own temporality and without their interaction The Voice of Things would remain immobile and silent.

The Voice of Things was produced with Patrice Coulombe (MaxMSP programming).


Artist Bio:

Catherine Béchard and Sabin Hudon have been an artist duo since 1999. They live and work in Montreal. Sound matter and movement are at the heart of their exploratory fields. They are interested in sound/noises generated by acoustic sources, in their propagation, in the impressions they impart, as well as in ‘things’ and the ‘silences between things’ which make up our perceptual fields. Their approach is guided by various aesthetic propositions that combine sound sculpture, kinetic and sound installation, sound art and performance art, whose configurations, forms or practices are often brought together in a single work. In coupling the fleeting tensions between sight and sound, the duo creates pieces that seek to make anecdotal and often overlooked everyday elements visible and audible. Their works have been shown during individual and group exhibitions in many Canadian cities, as well as in the Czech Republic, Brazil, USA, and Germany.