As part of the Festival B!MEFestival, Grame 2024 edition, CNCM Lyon

I have always considered the piano as a body, an organism. I always wanted to know what was going on inside, what was this machinery, a disturbing power rolling and rumbling under its wooden case. Remembering the words of my teachers who told me how to tame it (we were educated like machines to seek the precision of the gesture...), I feel an intense stake. For a long time, I have wanted to create a work that would have this machine, this mass, its intensity, its mechanisms at the heart of its object. At the same time, I would like to question this "body to body" that it delivers to the human machine to make a sound work.

Pianomachine is the result of an organological research that I conducted with engineering students from the Insa of Lyon, then with the Sonopopée collective (Vivien Trelcat, Max Lance, Nicolas Canot). It led to the creation of a hybrid instrument where robotized modules (percussors, resonators, bouncing masses...) are grafted into the body of the piano and act on the strings and the structure. The instrument is conceived as an extension of the performer's power to act. The "machine performer" acts on the piano, triggers the movements of the machines, plays with the instrumentalist and spatializes the sound by multiplying the effects: distorting mirror, doubling, orchestration game, heterophony...

The body to body, it is by nature as well that of a fight as that of the desire, the sensuality and the pleasure, the union of the lovers. But it is above all the one that links machines and men since centuries. Because it is a question of making these two bodies enter in resonance: the human and the instrument, to speak about the interior and the exterior, of what is given to see and to hear and of what is not. A dialogue will take place between the two "subjects" in the form of a performance through sound, verbal and gestural exchanges, in a sort of visual narrative.

Claudine Simon
Tue. 19 + Wed. March 20, 2024 Théâtre de La Renaissance (69)

65 min.


Claudine Simon
conception, pianist and performer

Vivien Trelcat
computer lutherie, machine performer

Vivien Trelcat, Maxime Lance, Nicolas Canot (Sonopopée collective)
development and machine design

Pauline Simon
choreographic vision

Franck Lemonde

Jacques-Benoît Dardant
lights, scenography, general management

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