“Mecanium” by Pierre Bastien

  • ©, Pierre Bastien, Mecanium
  • Record sleeve



Artist(s) and People Involved:




Artist Statement:

    MECANIUM (since 1977) :
    A sixty-pieces orchestra made of Meccano parts, electro-motors and acoustic instruments from all over the world. According to the type of instrument that is included, each automaton plays a short melody, a rhythm or some harmony repeated in a loop. (source: https://www.pierrebastien.com/en/installations.php)

    Bastien has composed music for Dominique Bagouet’s ballets, and it was for his Tartine production that he made his first musical machine, combining a record-playing engine, a Meccano structure and a cymbal. The products of a strange cross between modern technology and ethnic folklore, his works are reminiscent of futurist primitivism and dadaism. In the words of Marc Gabriel Malfant, the music of Pierre Bastien has also rediscovered the pure charm of ‘air’ or tune, the easy-to-whistle-to genre pursued by une, the easy-to-whistle-to genre pursued by Bach that has disappeared from the musical vocabulary.

    We enter, through music, into a forgotten world where tired machines slowly and obstinately repeat coagulated tunes. The tempo is heavy, decomposed. In this nocturnal milieu, the apparitions have the mysterious walk of the ghosts and their power of fascination. These ‘airs’ have the elegance of a remembrance… And sometimes, we surprise ourselves whistling a melody of Pierre Bastien while we maintain fixed in our memory the sorrowful calm of Marimba Combo’s cornet.

Additional Images:

  • 1992 Bastien Mecanium
  • 1992 Bastien Mecanium
  • Image from pierrebastien.com, Record sleeve back side


All Works by the Artist(s) in This Archive: