Valentin Durif (FR) Cheering citizens will believe the Machine

Improvised music performance, 2015 - ongoing

Cheering citizens will believe the Machine is an experimental, noisy / ambient improvised music set, based on a dialogue among several autonomous DIY kinetic sculptures, a harp excited by a speaker, and an analog synth.

Valentin Durif has been interested for some time now in the relationships between physical, mechanical and acoustic phenomena, the perception of sound in space, and hijacking of everyday objects for musical purposes. It started with basic, predictable percussion, and moved on to slightly more evolved "kinetic sculptures", with both sound and visual aspects to them.

There were no carefully planned 3D printed schematics here, just "junk" objects (mostly metal, cans, potato mashers…), mashed together by trial and error, with pieces of wood, a few screws, and different kinds of arduino / software controlled motors.

What is sought here are the aesthetics of movement in relation to sound production and the hypnotic contemplation it provides; the touching fragility and imperfections of machines turned into musical instruments, and also how a predictable stereotypical mechanical movement can yield rich and unpredictable patterns (for example the way a steel string will take a slightly different course each time the motor makes a revolution). The sound is picked up with piezo mikes and goes through effects to become either an impressionist landscape or to give a very raw edge to the sound matter. This semi-autonomous ensemble, in this context remotely controlled through different knobs, is complemented with a small harp the strings of which are excited by a small vibrating speaker played live, giving the musician a direct contact with sound matter, so as to mix a spontaneous and organic musical gesture with the dysfunctional mechanical orchestra. The whole performance is completely unstructured and improvised, giving to each performance a different perspective and creating full involvement for the musician.

Valentin Durif (FR)

Musician, sound artist and developer, Valentin Durif lives and works in Lyon, France. Having dabbled in electronic, rock, and ambient / experimental music, he started getting interested in translating electronic music into the physical world, by creating performances and installations made of DIY / ready-made sound machines and musical instruments.

He usually works on the hijacking of everyday objects, with the idea of creating sonic as well as visually immersive and impressionist landscapes, while also developing the idea of a musical gesture that is both meaningful and absurdist, with the questions of fragility and control always being central.His music has roots in IDM, noise rock or indus, as well as in more experimental veins of music creation.