Décor Sonore

The cabinets of curiosities…

Born in the mid 18th century, cabinets of curiosities are places where "experimental science" and lounge sociability are married; they are the theatre of trials, demonstrations and teaching.

Bringing together an always present educational vocation with the desire for the supernatural, intrinsic in these industries which "amuse by educating", the fairground attractions in 19th and beginning of 20th centuries proposed a spectacular survey in  the  mathematical, natural science and human science domains. At the fairgrounds, these physicists-demonstrators, physicists-conjurers or engineers-mechanics, preferring to be called professors, showed and revealed all of the modern applications of science, in particular those allowing for magical effects: magnetism, electricity, optics, air properties,  and  invisible ink.

Here, there are no foetuses in jars nor Siamese-elephant-women, but sound monsters so genetically unclassifiable, acoustic mutants escaping the rules of stringed instrument and classic musical aesthetic models . The public first enters into a sort of dark anteroom, populated by fleeting voices emanating from all the directions, in which three technicians bustle about behind the  commands of strange sound machines. These are the contemporary visual artist Peter Keene's apocryphal electronic instruments-sculptures, on which, little by little, the public makes its own concert. At the end of this prologue, three musician-demonstrators and their barker-orchestra conductor join the assistants to begin the session, during which the public will draw lots for the "monstrations" of the evening...