The Machine à Turlute (Turlute Machine) is a mobile musical unit that enables the general public to learn a traditional folk singing style and collectively compose unique musical pieces.
In the late 1920s, Marie Travers, also known as La Bolduc, was the first female singer to sing to the Québec working class, in the language of the working class. Known as the Queen of Canadian folksingers, she made a name for herself across the country with her Turlute, a traditional folk singing style, similar to Irish lilting, that sings out instrumental partitions with evocative phonemes. Tam ta da dee ta tam.
In 2011, we were commissioned by Lusio Films to develop a Turlute machine for the project Les Enfants de la Bolduc (“Children of La Bolduc”) that invited known Québec artists to rediscover the musical heritage of La Bolduc. Our Turlute machine brings their music to the general public, traveling around the province as La Bolduc once did.
The Machine à Turlute is a custom designed trailer with a musical disc-based interface that plays sounds of Turlute composed and sung by different contemporary artists. This machine spreads the cheerful sounds of the Turlute and teaches the public about how these are created, inviting them to play around, create their own Turlute, and leave with one in mind.
As a contemporary interpretation of the spirit of this folk singer, the Machine also enables participants to rediscover a part of their cultural heritage while exploring how it can still be relevant today.