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  • Photo: Xavier Voirol

  • Photo: Xavier Voirol

  • Photo: Xavier Voirol

Grand Prize

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Pendulum Choir

Cod.Act (Michel DÉCOSTERD / André DÉCOSTERD)

Music performance [Switzerland]

Pendulum Choir is an original choral piece for 9 a cappella voices and 18 hydraulic jacks. The choir stands on tilting platforms, constituting a living, sonorous body. That body expresses itself through various physical states. Its plasticity varies at the mercy of its sonority. It varies between abstract sounds, repet i t ive sounds, and lyr ical or narrative sounds. The bodies of the singers and their voices play with and against gravity. They brush and avoid each other, creating subtle vocal polyphonies. Or, supported by electronic sounds, they break their cohesion and burst into lyrical flight or fold up into an obsessional and dark ritual. The organ travels from life to death in a robotic allegory where the technological complexity and the lyricism of the moving bodies combine into a work with Promethean accents.

(Construction: Metallic structure with hydraulic device, 9 soloist singers a cappella and electronics | Size / Space: Installation 340 x 430 x 280 cm)

Conception, construction and musical composition: Michel Décosterd and André Décosterd | Interpretation: Jeune Opéra Copagnie Les voix | Direction: Nicolas Farine | Tenors: Wolfgang Behrenz, Alain Bertschy, Michel MÜLHAUSER | Baritones: Etienne Hersperger, Sacha Michon, Christophe Gindraux | Basses: Francesco Biamonte, Nicolas Farine, Christophe Mironneau | Technical collaboration: Jacques Décosterd, François Bommottet
©Cod.Act

Profile

Cod.Act

Combining their know-how, André and Michel DÉCOSTERD have together developed performances and interactive installations. At the root of their approach is a reflection on sound and movement and the possibility of their mutual interaction. Since 1999 the complex devices they have produced have evoked an industrial universe of economy and function. The devices created by Cod. Act translate physical movement into an acoustic phenomenon.

( 2014 )

Michel DÉCOSTERD

Switzerland

Born in Switzerland in 1969. His areas of expertise include plastic art, architecture, and sound machines.

( 2012 )

André DÉCOSTERD

Switzerland

Born in Switzerland in 1967. He is a musician, a composer, and a programmer.

( 2012 )

Award Reason

This work starts with a simple premise that even looks like a form of entertainment - using computer-controlled machinery to arbitrarily swing the bodies of several vocalists around while having them sing as a chorus. But it compels us to seriously contemplate the nature of human expression in the midst of a mechanical (i.e. technological) society. The members of the choir sing with great expressiveness - yet their movements are not of human volition. Their bodies are locked into mechanical devices that keep them erect and immobile. The sublime appeal of this work lies in the discomfiting yet inseparable relationship between singing humans who join their voices according to traditional musical practices and the mechanical system that controls and regiments their individual movements. It inspires premonitions of a future of art created not only by humans, but by humans working in concert with advanced technologies. The work is further enhanced by the high degree of technical prowess required to make this idea a reality, and by an excellent composition for voices accompanied by electronic music.

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